Video of a solar eclipse on Mars, Phobos occults the Sun

30 August 2022

Footage of a solar eclipse on Mars, filmed by NASA roving probe Curiosity. Eclipses on Mars are a little different to those we are treated to on Earth though, with the speed of the red planet’s “moontatoes” making the phenomenon more of a blink and you’ll miss it occasion.

Mars’ moons Phobos (“fear” in Ancient Greek) and Deimos (“dread”) circle Mars every 7.65 and 30.35 hours respectively, a relative blink compared to the 27-day orbit of Earth’s moon. They’re also a lot smaller than the Moon, and considerably more lumpy – little moontatoes, rather than the nice round disk we see shining so argently in our night sky.

It makes me think. If Pluto doesn’t make the grade as a “proper” planet, why should the so-called satellites of Mars be regarded as moons? Surely “captured objects” would be a more apt classification.

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