The science team of the Emirates Mars Exploration Program “Probe of Hope” revealed a series of new data on Mars’ smallest moon “Demos”, captured using the probe’s three science instruments. The Moon, about 100 km away, is closest to the spacecraft. “Viking” in 1977.
During a special session at the International Conference on Geosciences in Vienna, the scientific team presented all the new images, observations and results found on the composition and structure of the moon, Deimos. The team emphasized that the data discovered for the first time contributes to deepening the global scientific community’s understanding of Deimos and enriching them with new information and data about them.
The observations have disproved one of the oldest theories suggesting that the Moon was attracted to the orbit of the Red Planet and was thought to be an asteroid in its origin, and confirm that the Moon may have originated from Mars and not an asteroid. previously considered.
Includes high-resolution images taken during the closest flyby of the Moon, the first extreme-ultraviolet and far-ultraviolet observations, and the first thermal-infrared DEIMOS hyperspectral data; The observations reveal, for the first time, distant regions of Deimos that have not previously been structurally observed.
Hessa Al Madrushi, Head of Science for the Emirates Mars Exploration Program, “Probe of Hope”, said: There are many questions about the Martian moons “Deimos” and “Phobos”; Therefore, through the HOPE study, we seek to answer these questions with the aim of achieving a deeper understanding of Mars and its moons, and the study of how the two moons appear in their current orbits, which confirms the importance of new information, especially about Deimos, to our understanding of the origin and formation of the moons. Contributes to improve understanding.
His Highness Sara bint Youssef Al Amiri, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Emirates Space Agency and Minister of Public Education and Advanced Technology, said: “Over the years, the Hope probe has contributed to the discovery of many unique and important sequences. The previously unobserved data is changing our perception of the Red Planet. He said the latest important findings disprove one of the older theories and prove that Deimos, Mars’ smallest moon, is a planet of origin and not an asteroid.
His Excellency added: In the coming days, the scientific team will continue to explore the moon of Deimos deeper and larger to reveal more observations and data about the moon and provide them to the global scientific community. In light of Hope Probe’s great success and completing its scientific achievements, Hope Probe’s journey will be extended for another year, thanks to the project providing important observations of the Red Planet.
Salem Buti Salem Al Qubaisi, Director General of the Emirates Space Agency, said: “Expanding the work of the Emirates Mars Exploration Program will help increase opportunities for collaboration and expand strategic partnerships with various agencies and research centers in the UAE. In line with our strategic vision for the sustainable development of the space sector, this Strengthening the country’s position in a pioneering and vital sector and ensuring development of national capabilities in this sector in line with the highest international standards.
It is noteworthy that the moon “Deimos” is much less observed and understood due to its small size and its rotation in a wide orbit every 30 hours, in contrast to the moon “Phobos”, which is characterized by its large size and its proximity. Mars has been considered more suitable for sensing by previous spacecraft, most of which have been located at lower altitudes than the planet.
The first phases of the flight of the Hope probe near the Deimos satellite began in late January and early February 2023; The instruments are calibrated to support high-resolution images and observations with the Digital Exploration Camera (EXI), infrared spectroscopy (EMIRS) and ultraviolet spectroscopy (EMUS).
As planned, the Hope probe will be in an elliptical orbit between 20,000 and 43,000 km, at a 25-degree angle to Mars, with minor modifications to support additional observations of Deimos; The probe completes an orbit every 55 hours, recording a composite of data for Mars every nine days as part of its mission to map the Red Planet’s atmosphere.
It is noteworthy that the Emirates Mars exploration project, “Probe of Hope”, since its arrival in orbit, has published 13 scientific and research papers on the study’s data in specialized international scientific journals, which confirms the importance of this information. Researchers and scientists around the world. Emirati students and researchers have greatly benefited from these data in carrying out their respective specialized research. The total amount of data collected by the study through its three devices has so far reached more than 2 terabytes.
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