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More flyby results: Imaging the heat of Phobos!

25 Jan 2011, 08:40 UTC
More flyby results: Imaging the heat of Phobos!
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This just sent in yesterday evening by ESA's Olivier Witasse, the Mars Express Project Scientist, with details on PFS results from the Phobos flyby.


The figure above (click for large size) shows the spectrum of Phobos acquired by the PFS instrument during the flyby on 9 January 2011 (Mars Express orbit 8974).

The x-axis represents the wave number, in other words the wavelength, in the infrared. The y-axis represents the radiance, a physical quantity proportional to the brightness. The data are in black (note the uncertainty is also shown), while the red curve is an interpolation to the data.

Olivier sent in a note, stating:

PFS on Mars Express detects Phobos!

The Planetary Fourier Spectrometer (PFS) on board Mars Express successfully observed Phobos during the close flyby performed on 9 January 2011. The instrument collected data in thermal and near infrared wavelengths, with a spectral resolution of ~1.3 cm-1. Phobos was well illuminated during the flyby, ensuring good quality data.

The figure shows a preliminary calibration of the spectrum of Phobos acquired during the flyby. The spectrum shows a clear absorption feature around the wave number 600 ...

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