JPL Home Page JPL Earth JPL Solar System JPL Stars and Galaxies JPL Science & Technology Jet Propulsion Laboratory California Institute of Technology Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter NASA Home Page Jet Propulsion Laboratory California Institute of Technology Follow this link to skip to the main content
NASA logo, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology header separator
+ NASA Homepage
+ NASA en Español
+ Marte en Español
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter
Overview Science Technology The Mission People Features Events Multimedia
Mars for Kids
Mars for Students
Mars for Educators
Mars for Press
+ Mars Home
+ MRO Home
bullet Press Release Images
bullet MOI
bullet Cruise
bullet Aerobraking
bullet Spacecraft
bullet Mars Artwork
bullet Dust Storms
bullet Launch
bullet Calibration
Press Release Images
Return to Press Release Images index
These color-enhanced views of Deimos, the smaller ot the two moons of Mars, result from imaging on Feb. 21, 2009.
Larger JPG (599 kB)
Martian Moon Deimos in High Resolution

These color-enhanced views of Deimos, the smaller of the two moons of Mars, result from imaging on Feb. 21, 2009, by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Deimos has a smooth surface due to a blanket of fragmental rock or regolith, except for the most recent impact craters. It is a dark, reddish object, very similar to Mars' other moon, Phobos. For a comparison, see HiRISE images of Phobos taken March 23, 2008.

These Deimos images combine HiRISE exposures in near-infrared, red and blue-green wavelengths. In the enhanced color, subtle color variations are visible -- redder in the smoothest areas and less red near the fresh impact craters and over ridges of topographic highs (relative to Deimos' center of gravity). The color variations are probably caused by exposure of surface material to the space environment, which leads to darkening and reddening. Brighter and less-red surface materials have seen less exposure to space due to recent impacts or downslope movement of regolith.

Deimos is about 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) in diameter. Its orbital period is 1 day, 6 hours, 17.9 minutes.

These two images were acquired 5 hours and 35 minutes apart. The sun was to the upper left in the first (left) image, and to the right in the second image. The viewing geometry is similar in the two images, but surface features appear very different due to the change in illumination.

With an image scale of about 20 meters (66 feet) per pixel, features 60 meters (197 feet) or larger can be discerned.

These images are products from observations catalogued by the HiRISE team as ESP_012065_9000 and ESP_012068_9000. Other products from these observations are available at .

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-caltech/University of Arizona

JPL Image Use Policy

Credits Feedback Related Links Sitemap