Curiosity Snaps Mars Solar Eclipse

Partial eclipse was brief, tiny
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 18, 2012 8:16 AM CDT
Martian moon Phobos transits the sun on Sept. 13, 2012, in a picture taken by NASA's Mars Curiosity rover.   (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems via

(Newser) – The latest celestial images from Curiosity, NASA's Mars rover, show a partial solar eclipse as Martian moon Phobos crosses the sun. The eclipse isn't quite as impressive as one on Earth would be, explains, because Phobos is just 14 miles across, so it only covers a tiny portion of the sun. (Our moon is 2,160 miles across.) And, Sky News points out, Phobos is closer to Mars than our moon is to the Earth, so partial eclipses are much more common there. Scientists had been planning the Sept. 13 shots for a while, and say there will probably be a couple more opportunities to photograph similar transits. (Read more Mars stories.)

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