During Rosetta's recent Mars swingby, the OSIRIS cameras captured a series of images of Mars and of Phobos transiting Mars' disk. The OSIRIS team have produced a cool animated sequence and a 3D view of the Red Planet.
The animated sequences (one faster, one slower) show the shadow of Phobos transiting Mars' disk on 24 February; the images were captured around 22:08 CET, a few hours prior to Rosetta's successful Mars swingby on 25 February.The animated sequence shows the shadow of Phobos transiting Mars' disk on 24 February; the sequence was captured around 22:08 CET, a few hours prior to Rosetta's successful Mars swingby on 25 February. The movie was produced by combining a series of separate images. The background of Mars changes slightly from image to image since the individual images were acquired using different colour filters. Credits: ESA © 2007 MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/RSSD/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA
The movies were produced by combining a series of separate images taken by the Optical, Spectroscopic and Infrared Remote Imaging System (OSIRIS) on board Rosetta.
The background of Mars changes slightly from image to image since the individual images were acquired using different colour filters. Phobos appears dark because it reflects less sunlight than Mars.
Phobos is the inner moon of Mars; Phobos orbits closer to a major planet compared to any other moon in our solar system (less than 6000 km above the surface of Mars), and it is also one of the smallest known moons in the solar system.
During the swingby, the gravitational energy of Mars helped Rosetta change direction, while the spacecraft was decelerated with respect to the Sun by an estimated 7887 km/hour.
The spacecraft is now on the correct track towards Earth - its next destination planet whose gravitational energy Rosetta will exploit in November this year to gain acceleration and continue on its trek.
Written from a news release by ESA.