Boulders on Phobos
September 17, 2003
In 1998, the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft made four passes by the innermost of the two martian satellites, Phobos. The fourth pass, made just over 5 years ago on 12 September 1998, offered the Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) the opportunity to acquire the highest resolution images of the moon, ever. This wonderful 5-year-old picture highlights the surface of Phobos. Several large boulders can be seen, including a very large one near the center that is about 85 meters (~280 feet) in diameter. Most of the boulders may have been ejected from the largest impact crater on Phobos, Stickney. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the left/lower left.
Topics: Environment, Moons of Mars, Mars, Spacecraft, Mars Global Surveyor, Opportunity rover, Transit of Phobos from Mars, Phobos monolith, Astronomy on Mars, Stickney, Phobos, Space exploration, Orbiter