Mars rover Curiosity captures a solar eclipse …. from Mars

Many of us have seen images of the moon eclipse the sun, but it’s not so often that one sees the sun eclipsed by a moon that is not our own. Yet just a few weeks ago, the telephoto-lens camera of NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover saw just that: Mars’s moon Phobos eclipsing the sun.

On August 17, Curiosity snapped a series of photos of Mars’s larger moon, Phobos, “dash in front of the sun,” as Reuters put it. These photos are now considered to be the clearest photos of a Mars solar eclipse ever taken.

Above, at top, you can see three of Curiosity’s photos of Phobos’s solar eclipse, and below, Curiosity’s documentation of Phobos passing directly in front of Mars’s other moon, Deimos.

As we all wait for more information, discoveries, and super cool photos from the world’s most powerful rover to land on Mars, learn more about Mars thanks to these 4 TEDx Talks about the Red Planet:

How we landed a car on Mars: Jordan Evans at TEDxMidAtlantic
In this talk from TEDxMidAtlantic, Jordan Evans, Engineering Development and Operations Manager for the Mars rover Curiosity project explains what it was like to be behind the scenes as the rover landed on Mars, making sure one of the greatest achievements in the history of space exploration was a success.

Why is there water on Earth? Why not Mars?: Maria Sundin at TEDxUniversityofGothenburg
In this talk, astrophysicist Maria Sundin discusses the importance of water to supporting life on our planet — and possibly others — and provides us with a look into the surprisingly watery history of our neighbor planet, Mars, a history which could have maybe included life.

No life on Mars? No problem; we’ll bring it: Bas Lansdorp at TEDxDelft
Bas Lansdorp is the head of the Mars One project, an endeavor to establish a human settlement on the planet Mars in 2023. At TEDxDelft, he lays out the project’s plan for a manned mission to Mars, explaining the drive behind this very ambitious goal.

Live like a rocket scientist: Charles Elachi at TEDxBeirut
Charles Elachi is the director of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the outlet responsible for the Mars Science Laboratory, which launched and maintains Mars rover Curiosity. Just 100 days after Curiosity's landing, he spoke at TEDxBeirut about how a sense of curiosity and a willingness to collaborate drive not only missions to Mars, but also all great things in life.

(Photos: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems/Texas A&M Univ.)

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