India’s Mangalyaan captured Martian moon Phobos passing over Red Planet | Video


AUGUST 28, 2023

India’s Mars Orbiter Mission, also known as Mangalyaan, has captured a stunning video of Phobos, the larger of Mars’ two moons, passing over the Red Planet.

The video was processed and shared by space enthusiast Andrea Luck from Mangalyaan’s scientific data archive on social media platform X, previously known as Twitter.

Launched in 2013 by the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro), Mangalyaan was India’s first interplanetary mission. It made Isro the fourth space agency to achieve Mars orbit, following Roscosmos, Nasa, and the European Space Agency. The mission was designed to test key technologies for interplanetary exploration and to study the Martian surface and atmosphere using its five science instruments.

The spacecraft orbited Mars from 2014 to 2022, providing valuable data about the planet and its moons. In September 2022, ISRO organized a national meeting to commemorate the completion of eight years of Mangalyaan in Martian orbit.

Phobos, the moon featured in the video, orbits Mars once every 7 hours and 39 minutes, at a distance of just 5,989 km above the planet’s surface. Its orbit is decaying by 1.8 cm per year, leading scientists to predict that it will either crash into Mars or break up to form a ring around the planet within 100 million years.

The video showcases Phobos’ most prominent feature, the 6-mile crater Stickney, caused by an impact that left streak patterns across the moon’s surface. As Phobos passes over Mars, the planet’s cloudy atmosphere creates a dramatic backdrop.

This footage serves as a testament to the success of Mangalyaan and its contribution to our understanding of Mars and its moons. Despite reaching its end of life, the spacecraft continues to provide valuable data for scientists and space enthusiasts alike.

Courtesy/Source: India Today / PTI