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Click to enlargePhobos Photo

August 19, 1998

This image of Phobos, the inner and larger of the two moons of Mars, was taken by the Mars Global Surveyor on August 19, 1998. This image shows a close-up of the largest crater on Phobos, Stickney, 10 kilometers (6 miles) in diameter. Individual boulders are visible on the near rim of the crater, and are presumed to be ejecta blocks from the impact that formed Stickney. Some of these boulders are enormous - more than 50 meters (160 feet) across. Also crossing at and near the rim of Stickney are shallow, elongated depressions called grooves. This crater is nearly half the size of Phobos and these grooves may be fractures caused by its formation. Phobos was observed by both the Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) and Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES). This image is one of the highest resolution images (4 meters or 13 feet per picture element or pixel) ever obtained of the Martian satellite.

Malin Space Science Systems, Inc. and the California Institute of Technology built the MOC using spare hardware from the Mars Observer mission. MSSS operates the camera from its facilities in San Diego, CA. The Thermal Emission Spectrometer is operated by Arizona State University and was built by Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Mars Surveyor Operations Project operates the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft with its industrial partner, Lockheed Martin Astronautics, from facilities in Pasadena, CA and Denver, CO.

Credits: JPL/NASA

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