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Mars rover sky watches, and spots a weird Martian moon

Mars' moon Deimos.

While peering up at the hazy Martian sky, NASA’s Perseverance rover recently spotted one of Mars’ irregularly-shaped moons.

The moon, Deimos, is relatively small at 7.5 miles wide, so it appears as a bright spot in Mars evening sky, as seen in the timelapse video below. NASA spotted the lumpy moon while looking for Martian clouds overhead. Deimos is one of two Martian moons, and takes about 30 hours to orbit the desert planet Mars.

Primarily, the rover’s mission is to seek potential signs of past primitive life — should any have ever existed — and to collect small rock samples for a future mission to fly back to Earth.

The rover is currently drilling into rocks (a challenge) in the Jezero Crater, an exciting destination because NASA scientists think this region was “once flooded with water and was home to an ancient river delta.” On Earth, at least, we know microbial life thrives in watery places.

Perseverance isn’t just collecting rocks and sights on Mars: It’s also recording unprecedented Martian sounds. The rover’s microphones have captured Perseverance rumbling over the rocky ground, its laser zapping rocks, and the eerie Martian wind.

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