Swinging Around Mars


The Visual Monitoring Camera on ESA’s Mars Express was used to image the limb of Mars during most of a complete orbit. The movie was assembled from a series of 403 still images acquired by the camera during 29 April, 2016. The spacecraft was commanded to turn as it orbited Mars, keeping the camera pointing at the brightest point on the horizon as it passed over the southern hemisphere.

Video Credit: ESA

Phobos 360


Images from ESA’s Mars Express orbiter have been combined into a virtual rotation movie showing what the tiny moon would look like from an orbit around it. The rotation is actually a digital illusion: Phobos is tidally-locked with Mars and always keeps the same face toward its home planet as does our Moon. Phobos is losing about of centimeter of altitude a year and is expected to break up and crash onto Mars within the next 50 million years.

Video Credit: ESA