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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.

Credits: ESA/ASI/INAF-IFSI/PFS team

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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