Curiosity on Mars watches a partial solar eclipse


20/09/2012

NASA’s Curiosity rover, last Thursday was able to capture from the surface of Mars, the first solar eclipse - a small area of the solar disk, an indoor companion of the Red Planet, Phobos. All observations are made with the Mars Rover landing site - Gale Crater. High-resolution images were obtained using a camera Curiosity Mastcam, which is equipped with a rover. In particular, the image of solar eclipse was made because of the neutral density filter, a decline of about one thousand times the intensity of sunlight. Otherwise, the camera Curiosity could not stand the glare of the sun, as it could not withstand the eye of even the most desperate daredevil, who has decided to observe the Earth’s solar eclipse without eye protection. According to the researchers, the rover is programmed to perform during transit hundreds of images of high quality, and to eventually transfer them to Earth, NASA experts who are going to mount the first real video of a Martian solar eclipse. However, it may take some time, as the bandwidth necessary data is limited, but the mission of $ 2.5 billion while continuing to pursue the more important scientific goals. Meanwhile, Curiosity will be a few more days to shoot the passage of Phobos and Deimos - another satellite of Mars, carried out through the disk of the sun.


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