Phobos in Orbit around MarsThis time-lapse video captures a portion of the path that tiny Phobos takes around Mars. Over the course of 22 minutes, Hubble snapped 13 separate exposures of the little Martian moon. Phobos completes an orbit in just 7 hours and 39 minutes, which is faster than Mars rotates. Rising in the Martian west, it runs three laps around the Red Planet in the course of one Martian day, which is about 24 hours and 40 minutes. It is the only natural satellite in the solar system that circles its planet in a time shorter than the parent planet’s day. Hubble photographed Phobos orbiting the Red Planet on May 12, 2016, when Mars was 50 million miles from Earth. This was just a few days before the planet passed closer to Earth in its orbit than it had in the past in 11 years.
The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between NASA and ESA (European Space Agency). NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, manages the telescope. The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Maryland, conducts Hubble science operations. STScI is operated for NASA by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., in Washington, D.C.
NASA's Hubble Sees Martian Moon Orbiting the Red Planet (Unlabeled)
Compass and Scale Image for Phobos and Mars (Labeled)
Time-lapse Video of Phobos in Orbit around Mars (Non-annotated) - GIF
Time-lapse Video of Phobos in Orbit around Mars (Non-annotated and Smoothed)
Time-lapse Video of Phobos in Orbit around Mars (Annotated and Smoothed)
NASA's Hubble Sees Martian Moon Orbiting the Red Planet (2017 Release)
NASA's Hubble Portal
Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and Z. Levay (STScI)