PIA26249: Perseverance Views a Transit of Deimos
 Target Name:  Deimos
 Is a satellite of:  Mars
 Mission:  Mars 2020 Rover
 Spacecraft:  Perseverance
 Instrument:  Mastcam-Z 
 Product Size:  1535 x 917 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  Malin Space Science Systems
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA26249.tif (667.5 kB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA26249.jpg (30.82 kB)

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NASA's Perseverance Mars rover used its Mastcam-Z camera to capture the silhouette of Deimos, one of the two Martian moons, as it passed in front of the Sun on Jan. 19, 2024, the 1,037th Martian day, or sol, of the mission. This is one of several transits of Deimos that NASA's Mars rovers have captured. By comparing the various recordings over time, scientists can refine their understanding of the tiny moon's orbit, learning how it's changing.

The video has been sped up by four times; the full transit took over two minutes.

Arizona State University leads the operations of the Mastcam-Z instrument, working in collaboration with Malin Space Science Systems in San Diego, on the design, fabrication, testing, and operation of the cameras, and in collaboration with the Niels Bohr Institute of the University of Copenhagen on the design, fabrication, and testing of the calibration targets.

A key objective for Perseverance's mission on Mars is astrobiology, including the search for signs of ancient microbial life. The rover will characterize the planet's geology and past climate, pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet, and be the first mission to collect and cache Martian rock and regolith (broken rock and dust).

Subsequent NASA missions, in cooperation with ESA (European Space Agency), would send spacecraft to Mars to collect these sealed samples from the surface and return them to Earth for in-depth analysis.

The Mars 2020 Perseverance mission is part of NASA's Moon to Mars exploration approach, which includes Artemis missions to the Moon that will help prepare for human exploration of the Red Planet.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which is managed for the agency by Caltech in Pasadena, California, built and manages operations of the Perseverance rover.

Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado, produced this video.

For more about Perseverance: mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/

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