World Bulletin / News Desk
NASA's Mars rover Curiosity, dispatched to determine if the planet most like Earth in the solar system could have supported microbial life, has taken on a second job - moonlighting as an astronomer.
Last week, Curiosity outfitted its high-resolution camera with protective filters and took pictures of the sun as Phobos, one of Mars' two small moons, sailed by.
It was a tricky shoot. Phobos and its sister moon Deimos are closer to Mars than our moon is to Earth, so they shoot across the sky relatively quickly. Phobos takes less than eight hours to circle Mars. Deimos takes about 30 hours to make the trip.
Last Thursday, the moons started to cross paths.
"Phobos grazed the edge of the sun, as seen from Curiosity. We had basically a partial eclipse," astronomer Mark Lemmon, with Texas A&M University, told reporters during a conference call on Wednesday.
The rover took more than 600 images with its left and right cameras, about 100 of which captured some part of the eclipse. Not all the pictures have been radioed back to Earth.
Curiosity has a partner in the project. From the other side of the planet, the rover Opportunity was expected to try to shoot the eclipse on Wednesday.
Aside from pretty pictures, the images should help scientists learn more about Mars' internal structure. Like Earth's moon, Mars' moons have some gravitational pull that slightly change the planet's shape.
"That in turn changes the moons' orbits -- Phobos is slowing down, Deimos is speeding up, like our moon," Lemmon said. "This is something that happens very slowly over time."
In 10 million to 15 million years, Phobos is expected to be so close to Mars that it will be torn apart by the planet's gravity.
The moons' passages by the sun, captured by NASA's rovers, help scientists nail down their orbits and determine how fast they are changing. That information in turn is used to assess how much Mars is deformed as the moons go by.
Curiosity resumed skywatching on Tuesday, when both moons passed overhead.
"This was a really hard thing to do. The timing was very precise," Lemmon said.
The next Martian eclipses will take place in about 11 months. By then, Curiosity should be in a better vantage point.
The rover's eventual science target is a three-mile- (5 km) high mound of sediment rising from the floor of the Gale Crater impact basin where Curiosity landed six weeks ago.
The plane took off from the Siberian city of Irkutsk where the Irkut company is based, said Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, writing on Twitter.
A NASA statement described the planet as "a complex, gigantic, turbulent world" that is far different than scientists previously thought.
Scientists have completed initial study in Antarctica to establish Turkey's first base on the continent
According to documents released in March by Wikileaks, US intelligence can hack smartphones, computers and smart, web-connected TVs, to pilot them and eavesdrop.
"IOT home appliances, things that can be used in our everyday lives, our cars, lights, refrigerators, everything like this that is connected can be used and weaponised to spy on us or harm us."
The deal enables GE's "Geneva" to communicate with the Google Assistant, so users can say: "Ok Google, ask Geneva Home to set the oven timer for 10 minutes."
The malware uses a hacking tool known as EternalBlue, which was published last month by an anonymous hacking group called Shadow Brokers, saying it had been obtained from the US National Security Agency.
Firms say they will also focus on developing 5G technology, following recent deal
European policing and security agencies said the fallout from a ransomware attack that has already crippled more than 200,000 computers around the world could deepen as people return for another work week.
The head of the pan-European Union policing agency said that few had given in to the demands for payment to unblock files so far, but warned that the situation was escalating.
Microsoft's aim on Wednesday was on businesses and software developers, whether they been students building a fun app or professional technology teams.
The firm's market capitalization climbed to $815.08 billion on Monday -- a first for any company in history
WeChat, which had 889 million global users by the end of 2016, was not properly registered with Russian regulators, Tencent said.
The survey released Thursday by Strategy Analytics showed Apple grabbed a 15.9 percent share of the wearables market in the first quarter.
According to the Washington Post reports,the investigation into Uber's secret software is in its early stages