NASA probe observes Mars moon Phobos in new light

Washington, March 1 (IANS) NASA scientists are closer to solving the mystery of how Mars’ moon Phobos was formed.

In late November and early December 2015, NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission made a series of close approaches to the Martian moon Phobos, collecting data from within 500 kms of the moon.

Among the data returned were spectral images of Phobos in the ultraviolet.

The images will allow MAVEN scientists to better assess the composition of this enigmatic object whose origin is unknown.

Comparing MAVEN’s images and spectra of the surface of Phobos to similar data from asteroids and meteorites will help planetary scientists understand the moon’s origin – whether it is a captured asteroid or was formed in orbit around Mars.

The MAVEN data, when fully analysed, will also help scientists look for organic molecules on the surface.

Evidence for such molecules has been reported by previous measurements from the ultraviolet spectrograph on the Mars Express spacecraft.

The observations were made by the Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph instrument aboard MAVEN.

MAVEN’s principal investigator is based at the University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics while NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, manages the MAVEN project.

Leave a Reply

Please enter your comment!

The opinions, views, and thoughts expressed by the readers and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not reflect the opinions of www.mangalorean.com or any employee thereof. www.mangalorean.com is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the readers. Responsibility for the content of comments belongs to the commenter alone.  

We request the readers to refrain from posting defamatory, inflammatory comments and not indulge in personal attacks. However, it is obligatory on the part of www.mangalorean.com to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments to the concerned authorities upon their request.

Hence we request all our readers to help us to delete comments that do not follow these guidelines by informing us at  info@mangalorean.com. Lets work together to keep the comments clean and worthful, thereby make a difference in the community.

Please enter your name here