Home > Astronomy, Curiosity, Mars, Solar System, Spaceflight, Unmanned Spaceflight > ‘Curiosity’ Can Be Positioned With Eclipses

‘Curiosity’ Can Be Positioned With Eclipses


Phobos in transit last September. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Phobos in transit last September. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Observations from ‘Curiosity’ when Mars’ moon Phobos crosses in front of the sun, like in September, help us to understand exactly where the rover is on the red planet. Researchers at the Complutense University of Madrid (Spain) have developed a method for achieving precisely this.

The exact location of Curiosity on the surface of Mars is determined using data transmitted from its antennas as well as the space probes that orbit the red planet. It is very unlikely that these systems would fail but in such an eventuality there would be an alternative for determining the location of the rover: ‘ask it’ what eclipses it sees.

“Observing these events offers an independent method for determining the coordinates of Curiosity,” explains Gonzalo Barderas, researcher at the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM) and coauthor of the study.

Full Story: http://alphagalileo.org/ViewItem.aspx?ItemId=126958&CultureCode=en

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