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Astronomy

Pioneering images of martian moons

European Space Agency
14 December 2009

Phobos and Deimos raw (left panel) and processed images (right panel).

For the first time, the martian moons Phobos and Deimos have been caught on camera together. ESA's Mars Express orbiter took these pioneering images last month. Apart from their 'wow' factor, these unique images will help the HRSC team validate and refine existing orbit models of the two moons.

Phobos, the larger of the two moons, orbits closer to the Red Planet, circling it every 7 hours and 39 minutes. It travels faster relative to Mars than the Moon relative to Earth. It was 11 800 km from Mars Express when the images were taken. Deimos was 26 200 km away.

Full story and more photos from ESA