Most detailed images of Martian moon Deimos unveiled | Science and technology news


The most detailed images of Martian moon Deimos were revealed after a probe flew just 100 km (62 miles) from its surface.

The “unprecedented” high-resolution images captured by the UAE Space Agency during a series of flybys to look at areas on the far side of the moon that have never before been observed in such detail.

The moon – which NASA describes as “small and lumpy” – takes 30 hours to orbit Mars and is only nine miles long (15 km).

The flyby images are part of the UAE’s broader Emirates Mars Mission (EMM) to study the Red Planet.

Images of Deimos from the Emirates Mars Mission

It is among a number of countries that have planned or launched exploration missions to Mars in recent years, including ChinaThe US and a coalition of European nations.

Mars has two moons, including the larger Phobos, but scientists’ knowledge of them is limited.

The researchers hope the images, along with other data collected by the probe — including the UV observation of the ledge and surface temperature estimates — will help better understand the moons and Mars more broadly.

Hessa Al Matroushi, EMM’s Chief Scientific Officer, said the results challenge the long-standing theory that Phobos and Deimos were originally asteroids captured by Mars’ gravitational forces and that their properties suggested they were planetary in origin instead could be.

She said: “How exactly they got into their current orbits is also an active area of ​​study, and as such any new information we can glean about the two moons, particularly the less frequently observed Deimos, has the potential to provide new insights from satellites of the.” Mars.

“Our previous observations of Deimos point to a planetary origin.”

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The probe has been conducting flybys of Deimos since January and came within 100 km (62 miles) of its surface last month.

The UAE Space Agency called the new images “unprecedented” and confirmed that the EMM will continue for another year.

The mission aims to provide the first complete picture of the Martian climate throughout the Martian year, among other research.

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