UAE's Hope probe captures striking nightside image of Mars's moon Deimos

The spacecraft has been studying the Red Planet and its mysterious moon

Deimos, the smaller of Mars's two moons, captured by the Hope probe on May 10, 2023. Photo: Emirates Mars Mission
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The UAE's Hope probe has captured a stunning nightside image of Mars's moon Deimos.

Hope has been studying the planet since February 2021, sending back data on the planet's upper atmospheric conditions and space weather.

In January, the spacecraft began its observations of the Red Planet and the smaller of its two moons.

The latest image of Deimos shows the moon's nightside against the hydrogen glow in the sky.

"The solar system is filled with interplanetary hydrogen, which scatters sunlight in the UV (ultraviolet)," the Emirates Mars Mission tweeted on Wednesday.

"This false-colour Emus (ultraviolet spectrometer) image shows total reflected sunlight in red and hydrogen in blue, revealing the nightside silhouette of Deimos against the hydrogen glow in the sky."

UAE's Hope probe reveals secrets of Mars's moon Deimos

UAE's Hope probe reveals secrets of Mars's moon Deimos

Last month, Hope sent back fascinating details of Deimos, evidence that the celestial body may not actually be a captured asteroid as previously thought.

The spacecraft flew as close as 100km to the moon’s surface, capturing information about its composition that challenges a long-standing theory that Mars’s moons are captured asteroids — space rocks trapped in a planet’s orbit.

Findings point to a planetary origin, meaning that the rock may have come from Mars itself.

The clearest images yet of the moon's far side — the part of the rock that faces outward from Mars and remains largely unexplored — were captured by Hope.

The photos went viral on social media, with billionaire Elon Musk congratulating the UAE on the new findings.

Updated: May 10, 2023, 12:58 PM