The Curiosity Rover had a front row seat for the Mars solar eclipse on August 19 and 20.
The 1-ton rover has been exploring the surface of Mars but last month it gazed up at the sky to watch the martian moon Phobos cross in front of the sun.
Space.com reports that the Curiosity Rover was able to watch the Mars solar eclipse on two consecutive nights. On both occasions, Phobos moved in front of the sun and partially blocked out the light.
Mark Lemmon of Texas A&M University, College Station told NDTV that unlike earth, the martian moons never fully cover the sun.
Lemmon said: “This event occurred near noon at Curiosity’s location, which put Phobos at its closest point to the rover, appearing larger against the sun than it would at other times of day… This is the closest to a total eclipse of the sun that you can have from Mars.”
The eclipse occurred a few weeks ago but it isn’t exactly an easy process to get the images back from Mars. The NASA team has been working to stitch together the Curiosity Rover’s photos and have just released a video of the eclipse.
The video contains 52 photos from August 19 and another 89 from August 20.
NASA writes on YouTube: “This video clip shows the larger of the two moons of Mars, Phobos, passing directly in front of the sun, in an eclipse photographed by NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity.”
Here’s the video of the Mars solar eclipse.