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Solar eclipses on Mars: Wikis

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The two moons of MarsPhobos and Deimos— are much smaller than the Earth's moon, greatly reducing solar eclipses on that planet.

Eclipses caused by Phobos

Transit of Phobos as seen by the Opportunity rover.

Due to the small size of Phobos (about 12 by 14 miles) and its rapid orbital motion, an observer on the surface of Mars would never experience a solar eclipse for longer than about twenty seconds. Phobos also takes only 7 hours 39 minutes to orbit Mars, while a Martian day is 24 hours 37 minutes long, meaning that Phobos can create two eclipses per Martian day. These are annular eclipses, because Phobos is not quite large enough or close enough to Mars to create a total eclipse.

Eclipses caused by Deimos

Deimos is too small (about five by six miles) and too far from Mars to cause an eclipse. The best an observer on Mars would see would be a small object in transit across the Sun.

View from Earth

Both moons are too small to cast a shadow on the planet which can be seen from Earth. However, shortly after the first artificial satellites were placed in orbit around Mars, the shadow of Phobos was seen in pictures transmitted back to Earth.

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