Thursday, April 10, 2008

Amazing Image of the Martian Moon Phobos

"Phobos is of great interest because it may be rich in water ice and carbon-rich materials," said Alfred McEwen, HiRISE principal investigator at the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona, Tucson.

Previous spacecraft, like Mars Global Surveyor, have actually flown closer to Phobos, and taken higher resolution images, but according to the researchers, "the HiRISE images are higher quality, making the new data some of the best ever for Phobos."

This is probably the best image yet of the moonlet's odd (and, to the best of my knowledge, unexplained) "grooves."


W.M. Bear said...

I hate to say it, but the white pattern at the lower right looks like a set of glyphs. (I'm not saying it IS a set of glyphs, mind you, just that it looks like one.)

mr. intense said...

13.5 miles in diameter--one very big rock.

Note how the right "front end" of the moon has that gigantic cratered divot taken out--perhaps the "grooved lines" are the ejecta falling back from that primordial impact, and due to the small size of the moon, when they fell back and "down", relative to the big impact crater, they created the appearance of "stripes," rather than a flattened radial "sunburst" type pattern you can see around the big craters on The Moon (ours).

My best guess.