We’ve seen many remarkable photos and videos of the solar eclipse. But have you ever seen what it looks like from Mars? Well, NASA’s Perseverance rover captured a video of it, and absolutely stunning.
Perseverance shot a video of Phobos, one of Mars’ two moons, as it was eclipsing the sun. And according to NASA, this is the best video of the subject that’s been captured so far.
The rover used its Mastcam-Z camera system to shoot eclipse video. However, it’s not the first such video ever. Over the past 18 years, several rovers managed to capture similar videos. “Spirit and Opportunity made the first observations back in 2004,” NASA writes. But it wasn’t until 2019 that we had the first video of the event, filmed by the Curiosity rover. Still, this one has beaten them all in terms of quality. “It’s the most zoomed-in, highest frame-rate observation of a Phobos solar eclipse ever taken from the Martian surface,” NASA writes.
One of the Mastcam-Z team members who operate the camera, Rachel Howson of Malin Space Science Systems in San Diego, said: “I knew it was going to be good, but I didn’t expect it to be this amazing.”
These videos of solar eclipses for Mars are important for scientists as they allow them to measure subtle shifts in Phobos’ orbit over time. “The moon’s tidal forces pull on the deep interior of the Red Planet, as well as its crust and mantle,” NASA explains. “Studying how much Phobos shifts over time reveals something about how resistant the crust and mantle are, and thus what kinds of materials they’re made of.”
Other than scientific importance, these videos are absolutely stunning to watch. And last but ont least, they’re also perfect when you want to feel small and insignificant and realize that your problems are irrelevant. Or is it just me?
[via Ars Technica]