Solar Eclipse

The moon Phobos passes in front of the Sun.  Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems/Texas A&M Univ.
The moon Phobos passes in front of the Sun. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems/Texas A&M Univ.

The rover Curiosity gets a look at an an annular eclipse on Mars as Phobos passes in front of the Sun. Phobos is the larger of the two Martian moons.

In case you are wondering:

The next solar eclipse for us here on Earth will be on 03 November 2013. The very eastern part of the US might see it just after daylight, if you are on a ship in the Atlantic you should be able to catch it as well as southern Europe (Spain mostly) and much of central Africa. More about that when the event gets closer.


This set of three images shows views three seconds apart as the larger of Mars’ two moons, Phobos, passed directly in front of the sun as seen by NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity. Curiosity photographed this annular, or ring, eclipse with the telephoto-lens camera of the rover’s Mast Camera pair (right Mastcam) on Aug. 17, 2013, the 369th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity’s work on Mars.

Curiosity paused during its drive that sol for a set of observations that the camera team carefully calculated to record this celestial event. The rover’s observations of Phobos help researchers to make measurements of the moon’s orbit even more precise. Because this eclipse occurred near mid-day at Curiosity’s location on Mars, Phobos was nearly overhead, closer to the rover than it would have been earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon. This timing made Phobos’ silhouette larger against the sun — as close to a total eclipse of the sun as is possible from Mars.

Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, built and operates Mastcam. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the Mars Science Laboratory mission and the mission’s Curiosity rover for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The rover was designed, developed and assembled at JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

2 thoughts on “Solar Eclipse

  1. ok, would love to see this eclipse on nov. 3, 2013… I live on the northern west coast. what would be the best time for a chance to see?

  2. It depends on which northern west coast you are on. 🙂

    Come back in a couple hours and I will have a map up and a link to a LIVE feed in case you are in a location where you will not see it. Like the west coast of North America.

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