The Martian Moon Deimos
Image Title: The Martian Moon Deimos
Release Date: December 25, 2005
Source: Viking Orbiter 2
Deimos would be prime real estate in a space faring future. While Deimos is named after the Roman god of dread, it is probably more accurate to describe Deimos as a future land of opportunity with regards to the exploration of Mars. The smaller of the two Martian moons, it orbits a mere 20,060 kilometers above the surface of Mars. While this may sound close as compared to Earth's Moon, it is more than three times further out than the orbit of Phobos. Being only 7.5 kilometers long along its longest dimension, it's low surface gravity makes it attractive for rendezvous missions.
Source Image Background
This image is a composite of two data frames acquired by the Viking Orbiter 2 in October of 1977 during the orbiter's extended mission. At the time the two frames were taken, the Viking Orbiter was approximately 500 kilometers away from Deimos. In the image, as seen here, Deimos' north is to the right.
All processing of this image was done using Adobe Photoshop. This includes noise removal, image compositing, tonal balancing, and the application of false color. The starfield was not present in the source data and an approximation of the night sky as it might have appeared was created.
I have created a compressed low resolution version of "Deimos" for use as a desktop wallpaper. This wallpaper version is made available for your personal use only. It is not to be modified or redistributed in any form by any means. All rights are retained by the artist.