Mangalyaan captures image of Phobos

Update: 2020-07-05 01:20 IST

New Delhi: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has achieved yet another feat for India's technological progress in the space sector. Now, the Mars Colour Camera (MCC) aboard ISRO's Mars Orbiter Mission, also called Mangalyaan, has captured an image of Phobos, the biggest moon of Mars which the ISRO described as 'mysterious'.

"A recent image of the mysterious moon of Mars, Phobos, as captured by India's Mars Orbiter Mission," read a tweet posted by ISRO.

"Mars Colour Camera (MCC) onboard Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) has imaged Phobos, the closest and biggest moon of Mars, on 1st July when MOM was about 7200 km from Mars and at 4200 km from Phobos," detailed a post by ISRO on its official website.

The post elaborated, "Spatial resolution of the image is 210 m. This is a composite image generated from 6 MCC frames and has been colour corrected."

India's premier space agency further explained that Phobos is largely believed to be made up of carbonaceous chondrites.

"The violent phase that Phobos has encountered is seen in the large section gouged out from a past collision (Stickney crater) and bouncing ejecta," the post detailed, "Stickney, the largest crater on Phobos along with the other craters (Shklovsky, Roche & Grildrig) are also seen in this image." Mars has two moons, with the innermost and the larger of the two being Phobos, while the other being Deimos. Both moons were discovered in 1877 by American astronomer Asaph Hall. Phobos is named after the Greek god Phobos, a son of Ares (Mars) and Aphrodite (Venus) and the personification of fear (cf. phobia). The natural satellite is just 6,000 km from the Martian surface, making it the only known moon that is this close to its primary body. It is so close that it orbits Mars much faster than Mars rotates. The defining surface feature is the large impact crater, Stickney, which takes up a substantial proportion of the moon's surface. 

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