Mars Express giving Phobos a Close up this month!

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MeteorWayne

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<p>http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n0807/16marsexpress/<br /><br />Scientists and engineers are preparing the European Space Agency's Mars Express for a pair of close fly-bys of the Martian moon Phobos. Passing within 100 km of the surface, Mars Express will conduct some of the most detailed investigations of the moon to date. <br /><br />The series of fly-bys will take place between 12 July and 3 August. During the second encounter, the spacecraft will fly within 273 km of the surface. Six days later, Mars Express will close to within just 97 km. <br /><br />Although the Red Planet itself has been studied in detail, very little is known about the origins of its moons, Phobos and Deimos. It is unclear if the moons are actually asteroids that were captured by Mars's gravity and never left its orbit. Another possibility is that Phobos and Deimos are actually surviving planetesimals, bodies which formed the planets of the Solar System. They may also be remnants of an impact of a large object on Mars. </p><p>Altitude at<br />Date closest approach<br /><br />12 July 563 km<br />17 July 273 km<br />23 July 97 km<br />28 July 361 km<br />3 August 664 km</p><p>All the instruments will be brought to bear as well, in addition to the stereo camera, many that will perhaps speak to the origin of this tiny moonling.<br /><br /><em>The Visible and Infrared Mineralogical Mapping Spectrometer, OMEGA, the Planetary Fourier Spectrometer, PFS, and the Ultraviolet and Infrared Atmospheric Spectrometer, SPICAM, will also gather details on the surface composition, geochemistry and temperature of Phobos. <br /><br />The Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding (MARSIS) will collect information during two flybys (23 and 28 July) on the topography of the moon's surface and on the structure of its interior. <br /><br />The Energetic neutral atoms analyser, ASPERA will study the environment around Phobos, in particular the plasma that surrounds the moon and also the interaction of the moon with the solar wind. <br /><br />During the second fly-by, all efforts will be concentrated on accurately determining the mass of the moon using the Mars Radio Science experiment (MaRS). </em><br /><br />Phobos is highly nonspherical, with dimensions of 27 &times; 21.6 &times; 18.8 km. Because of its shape alone, the gravity on its surface varies by about 210%; the tidal forces raised by Mars more than double this variation (to about 450%) because they compensate for a little more than half of Phobos' gravity at its sub- and anti-Mars poles<br /><br />Phobos's unusually close orbit around its parent planet produces some unusual effects.<br /><br />As seen from Phobos, Mars would appear 6,400 times larger and 2,500 times brighter than the full Moon appears from Earth, taking up a quarter of the width of a celestial hemisphere.<br /><br />Phobos orbits Mars below the synchronous orbit radius, meaning that it moves around Mars faster than Mars itself rotates. Therefore it rises in the west, moves comparatively rapidly across the sky (in 4 h 15 min or less) and sets in the east, approximately twice a day (every 11 h 6 min). Since it is close to the surface and in an equatorial orbit, it cannot be seen above the horizon from latitudes greater than 70.4&deg;.<br /><br />As seen from Mars' equator, Phobos would be one-third the angular diameter of the full Moon as seen from Earth. Observers at higher Martian latitudes would see a smaller angular diameter because they would be significantly further away from Phobos. Phobos' apparent size would actually vary by up to 45% as it passed overhead, due to its proximity to Mars' surface: for an equatorial observer, for example, Phobos would be about 0.14&deg; upon rising and swell to 0.20&deg; by the time it reaches the zenith. By comparison, the Sun would have an apparent size of about 0.35&deg; in the Martian sky.<br /></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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3488

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<p><font size="2"><strong>Cheers Wayne.</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>I was aware of further Mars Express encounters with Phobos were due & the ESA did hold back to enable Mars Express to honour the commitment they made to assist with monitoring of the Phoenix EDL.</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>I certainly thank ESA, for their priceless assistance that night.</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>Now we know that Phoenix is down safe & is operating very well on the whole (Sol 56 shortly), the Mars Express can now proceed with the Phobos campaign. </strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>It is going to be WOW. The 97 KM pass with the HRSC, will yield the highest resolution images yet of Phobos, perhaps showing detail down to 1 metre!!!!&nbsp;</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>Lets hope that we do not have to wait long for the images.</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>Andrew Brown. <br /></strong></font></p><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080">"I suddenly noticed an anomaly to the left of Io, just off the rim of that world. It was extremely large with respect to the overall size of Io and crescent shaped. It seemed unbelievable that something that big had not been visible before".</font> <em><strong><font color="#000000">Linda Morabito </font></strong><font color="#800000">on discovering that the Jupiter moon Io was volcanically active. Friday 9th March 1979.</font></em></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://www.launchphotography.com/</font><br /><br /><font size="1" color="#000080">http://anthmartian.googlepages.com/thisislandearth</font></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://web.me.com/meridianijournal</font></p> </div>
 
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MeteorWayne

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Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>&nbsp;Lets hope that we do not have to wait long for the images.Andrew Brown. <br />Posted by 3488</DIV><br /><br />Rats, you are right....it's ESA. It could be a year! <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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silylene old

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Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Rats, you are right....it's ESA. It could be a year! <br />Posted by MeteorWayne</DIV><br /><br />But you can be sure that the photos will be in full blazing 'Andy Warhol' color ! <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature" align="center"><em><font color="#0000ff">- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -</font></em> </div><div class="Discussion_UserSignature" align="center"><font color="#0000ff"><em>I really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function.</em></font> </div> </div>
 
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Philotas

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<p>A couple of things from http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMVGAWIPIF_index_0.html&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;"As it flies by at a distance of 97 km, Mars Express will image areas of Phobos that have never been glimpsed before. The High-Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on board the orbiter will take pictures of the moon&rsquo;s surface with the highest resolution possible, in colour, and in 3-D."</p><p>Made me thinking that perhaps we'd get one of these cool&nbsp;perspective images.</p><p>"The camera may also capture an image of the intended landing site for Russia's Phobos-Grunt mission, due for launch in 2009. "</p><p>Which is, interestingly enough, a sample return mission.</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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3488

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<p><font size="2"><strong>Hi all, according to Emily Lakdawalla on the Planetary Society site, the Phobos observations should be available on Monday.</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>Can't wait.</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>Andrew Brown.&nbsp;</strong></font></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080">"I suddenly noticed an anomaly to the left of Io, just off the rim of that world. It was extremely large with respect to the overall size of Io and crescent shaped. It seemed unbelievable that something that big had not been visible before".</font> <em><strong><font color="#000000">Linda Morabito </font></strong><font color="#800000">on discovering that the Jupiter moon Io was volcanically active. Friday 9th March 1979.</font></em></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://www.launchphotography.com/</font><br /><br /><font size="1" color="#000080">http://anthmartian.googlepages.com/thisislandearth</font></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://web.me.com/meridianijournal</font></p> </div>
 
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JonClarke

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<p>I have seen the pre release MARSIS data and there is certainly what looks like some interesting subsurface structure visible.</p><p>Jon</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Whether we become a multi-planet species with unlimited horizons, or are forever confined to Earth will be decided in the twenty-first century amid the vast plains, rugged canyons and lofty mountains of Mars</em>  Arthur Clarke</p> </div>
 
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3488

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'><font color="#ff0000">I have seen the pre release MARSIS data and there is certainly what looks like some interesting subsurface structure visible.Jon <br /> Posted by jonclarke</font></DIV></p><p><font size="2"><strong>Please tell Jon.</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>Is Phobos a rubble pile held together by gravity like the Jupiter moon Amalthea, Saturn moon Hyperion & the main belt asteroid 253 Mathilde?&nbsp;</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>It looks like ESA are keeping to their word then at releasing some data in a timely manner. </strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>Looking forward to the images immensely too. Apparently the proposed Phobos / Grunt landing site was to have been observed as well as much of the trailing side & anti Mars side at high resolution.</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>Perhaps we'll finally find out where Phobos & perhaps Deimos came from???? I hope also a similar set of observations will be made with Deimos & MARSIS too with Deimos.<br /></strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>Thanks for the tip off Jon.&nbsp;</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>Andrew Brown.&nbsp;</strong></font></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080">"I suddenly noticed an anomaly to the left of Io, just off the rim of that world. It was extremely large with respect to the overall size of Io and crescent shaped. It seemed unbelievable that something that big had not been visible before".</font> <em><strong><font color="#000000">Linda Morabito </font></strong><font color="#800000">on discovering that the Jupiter moon Io was volcanically active. Friday 9th March 1979.</font></em></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://www.launchphotography.com/</font><br /><br /><font size="1" color="#000080">http://anthmartian.googlepages.com/thisislandearth</font></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://web.me.com/meridianijournal</font></p> </div>
 
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JonClarke

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Please tell Jon.&nbsp; Is Phobos a rubble pile held together by gravity like the Jupiter moon Amalthea, Saturn moon Hyperion & the main belt asteroid 253 Mathilde?&nbsp;</DIV></p><p>It's very early days.&nbsp; Ground penetrating radar data takes a LOT of processing.&nbsp; You can tell there is something there, but what is going to take months of work. </p><p>Jon</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Whether we become a multi-planet species with unlimited horizons, or are forever confined to Earth will be decided in the twenty-first century amid the vast plains, rugged canyons and lofty mountains of Mars</em>  Arthur Clarke</p> </div>
 
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3488

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'><font color="#ff0000">It's very early days.&nbsp; Ground penetrating radar data takes a LOT of processing.&nbsp; You can tell there is something there, but what is going to take months of work. Jon <br /> Posted by jonclarke</font></DIV></p><p><font size="2"><strong>T</strong></font><font size="2"><strong>hat's true Jon, I'm just being a bit impatient, but its great to know that the Mars Express was successful in the close Phobos encounter. </strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>Very well done to ESA for this, I know they said they would do do this, perhaps Deimos too at some point, but waited to honour their promise to assist with Phoenix EDL (NASA owes ESA a huge favour in return for that invaluable support) & now this, not that long afterwards with Phobos. </strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>ESA are getting very good at this now (JAXA too) & between NASA, ESA & JAXA, Russia maybe coming back into the fold, China & India emerging, humanity could really open up the entire solar system with a co-ordinated exploration plan, this really is a golden age in planetary exploration.</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>It is fantastic to see who is doing what & it does look very promising.&nbsp;</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>It is superb that ESA have done this. Viking, MGS & MRO have providied high resolution, qualituy data from mostly the Mars facing side (IIRC Viking 1 orbiter & Mars Express have provided some anti Mars facing info), but these encounters will really complete the high resolution mapping of Phobos, particularly the trailling & anti Mars side.</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>This is perhaps the best view to date of the antimars side of Phobos, also provided a while back by Mars Express. Here Mars Express did pass close enough for Phobos to totally eclipse Mars, though most views from this side show Mars in the background.</strong></font></p><p><font color="#000080"><font size="2"><strong>Anti Mars side of Phobos.</strong></font></font><font color="#000080"><font size="2"><strong> </strong></font></font><br /> <img src="http://sitelife.space.com/ver1.0/Content/images/store/5/2/d5e8bbb9-af97-4293-a2f8-ee03b33f8613.Medium.png" alt="" /><br />&nbsp;</p><p><font size="2"><strong>Andrew Brown.&nbsp;</strong></font></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080">"I suddenly noticed an anomaly to the left of Io, just off the rim of that world. It was extremely large with respect to the overall size of Io and crescent shaped. It seemed unbelievable that something that big had not been visible before".</font> <em><strong><font color="#000000">Linda Morabito </font></strong><font color="#800000">on discovering that the Jupiter moon Io was volcanically active. Friday 9th March 1979.</font></em></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://www.launchphotography.com/</font><br /><br /><font size="1" color="#000080">http://anthmartian.googlepages.com/thisislandearth</font></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://web.me.com/meridianijournal</font></p> </div>
 
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3488

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<p><strong><font size="2">This appeared over at UMSF.</font></strong></p><p><strong><font size="2" color="#000080">German newspaper article showing an image taken during the 93 KM pass.</font></strong><br /><img src="http://sitelife.space.com/ver1.0/Content/images/store/13/1/bd2a9737-f3c1-46f3-91e6-418f0ee37da8.Medium.jpg" alt="" /></p><p><strong><font size="2">The image is said to reveal detail down to 3.7 metres per pixel (so I suspect that this was not at closest approach) & that the Phobos / Grunt landing site is visible.</font></strong></p><p><strong><font size="2">Apparently Mars Express passed 4 KM closer than expected.</font></strong></p><p><strong><font size="2">The&nbsp; ESA sites are still not updated though.</font></strong></p><p><strong><font size="2">Andrew Brown.</font></strong></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080">"I suddenly noticed an anomaly to the left of Io, just off the rim of that world. It was extremely large with respect to the overall size of Io and crescent shaped. It seemed unbelievable that something that big had not been visible before".</font> <em><strong><font color="#000000">Linda Morabito </font></strong><font color="#800000">on discovering that the Jupiter moon Io was volcanically active. Friday 9th March 1979.</font></em></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://www.launchphotography.com/</font><br /><br /><font size="1" color="#000080">http://anthmartian.googlepages.com/thisislandearth</font></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://web.me.com/meridianijournal</font></p> </div>
 
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3488

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<p><font size="3"><strong>From DLR site, Phobos / Grunt landing site imaged.</strong></font><br /><img src="http://sitelife.space.com/ver1.0/Content/images/store/5/2/f5a275ea-ce92-45b3-a2e0-e0c4a1611218.Medium.jpg" alt="" /></p><p><font size="2"><strong>The above just appeared on the DLR site.</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>Andrew Brown.<br /></strong></font></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080">"I suddenly noticed an anomaly to the left of Io, just off the rim of that world. It was extremely large with respect to the overall size of Io and crescent shaped. It seemed unbelievable that something that big had not been visible before".</font> <em><strong><font color="#000000">Linda Morabito </font></strong><font color="#800000">on discovering that the Jupiter moon Io was volcanically active. Friday 9th March 1979.</font></em></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://www.launchphotography.com/</font><br /><br /><font size="1" color="#000080">http://anthmartian.googlepages.com/thisislandearth</font></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://web.me.com/meridianijournal</font></p> </div>
 
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3488

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<p><strong><font size="4" color="#000080">DLR article, Phobos encounter&nbsp;here.</font></strong><br /><img src="http://sitelife.space.com/ver1.0/Content/images/store/0/1/e02a1e72-8ff4-4849-a159-dae2bb92e3d9.Medium.jpg" alt="" /></p><p><strong><font size="2">Andrew Brown.<br /></font></strong></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080">"I suddenly noticed an anomaly to the left of Io, just off the rim of that world. It was extremely large with respect to the overall size of Io and crescent shaped. It seemed unbelievable that something that big had not been visible before".</font> <em><strong><font color="#000000">Linda Morabito </font></strong><font color="#800000">on discovering that the Jupiter moon Io was volcanically active. Friday 9th March 1979.</font></em></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://www.launchphotography.com/</font><br /><br /><font size="1" color="#000080">http://anthmartian.googlepages.com/thisislandearth</font></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://web.me.com/meridianijournal</font></p> </div>
 
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Philotas

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>This appeared over at UMSF.German newspaper article showing an image taken during the 93 KM pass.The image is said to reveal detail down to 3.7 metres per pixel (so I suspect that this was not at closest approach) & that the Phobos / Grunt landing site is visible.Apparently Mars Express passed 4 KM closer than expected.The&nbsp; ESA sites are still not updated though.Andrew Brown. <br />Posted by 3488</DIV></p><p>Fascinating detail. Suddenly it appears as an individual asteroid&nbsp;and not 'just a moon'. <img src="http://sitelife.space.com/ver1.0/content/scripts/tinymce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-laughing.gif" border="0" alt="Laughing" title="Laughing" /></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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3488

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'><font color="#ff0000">Fascinating detail. Suddenly it appears as an individual asteroid&nbsp;and not 'just a moon'. <br /> Posted by Philotas</font></DIV></p><p><font size="2"><strong>Hi Philotas,&nbsp;</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>Apparently there are some images at 90cm resolution taken. If true, they will be amoung the sharpest ever taken of another planetary body without actually landing.<br /></strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>Any ideas anyone when they might become available?</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>I think Phobos is a captured asteroid, but there are problems with that scenario, but spectrally, Phobos is remarkably similar to many asteroids within the outer part of the asteroid belt & of the very outer group of Jupiter's moons, the retrograde outer group, including Carme, Ananke, Sinope, Pasiphae, Erinome, etc.</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>I dunno, but there do appear to be too many coincidences for them to all be unrelated?&nbsp;</strong></font></p><p><font color="#000080"><strong><font size="3">Phobos with the Phobos / Grunt site on the limb shown. </font></strong></font><br /> <img src="http://sitelife.space.com/ver1.0/Content/images/store/1/4/d16658cc-e844-47a5-a4d2-daaff9ee742b.Medium.jpg" alt="" /><br />&nbsp;</p><p><font size="2"><strong>Andrew Brown.&nbsp;</strong></font></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080">"I suddenly noticed an anomaly to the left of Io, just off the rim of that world. It was extremely large with respect to the overall size of Io and crescent shaped. It seemed unbelievable that something that big had not been visible before".</font> <em><strong><font color="#000000">Linda Morabito </font></strong><font color="#800000">on discovering that the Jupiter moon Io was volcanically active. Friday 9th March 1979.</font></em></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://www.launchphotography.com/</font><br /><br /><font size="1" color="#000080">http://anthmartian.googlepages.com/thisislandearth</font></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://web.me.com/meridianijournal</font></p> </div>
 
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