This Eclipse Is From Mars

Curiosity Rover keeps clicking away
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 19, 2012 5:40 PM CDT
In this photo made available by NASA, the Martian moon Phobos grazes the sun's disk as seen by the Curiosity rover.   (AP Photo/NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

(Newser) – NASA's Mars Rover has been busy snapping photos of partial eclipses of the sun. The phenomenon isn't all that unusual on the planet, explains AP, but because Curiosity just happened to be in the neighborhood, it couldn't resist. The images should help scientists get a better sense of the track of the two Martian moons, Phobos and Deimos, says And that in turn, might shed light on the planet itself.

"We can't go inside Mars, but we can use these to tell how much Mars is deformed when the moons go by," says one scientist. "So we measure the transits very precisely, we get information on Mars' interior structure." Next up: Curiosity will turn its attention back to the ground and perform several tests on a rock to try to figure out its composition.

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