This is the closest photo of the Martian moon

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Mars's other moon, Phobos, is nearly twice that size, and science has a better understanding of it because it orbits much closer to Mars, at just 6,000 kilometers (3,700 miles), the shortest distance between a moon. and their planet in our solar system.

Deimos's orbit around Mars extends 23,000 kilometers (14,000 miles) away. That is, near the inner part of the probe's orbit, "which is what made observing Deimos such an attractive idea," said the mission's scientific director, Hessa al-Matroushi.

"So far Phobos has gotten most of the attention, now it's Deimos' turn," he added in an email.

Al-Matroushi and other scientists from the UAE Space Agency noted that these new photos indicate that Deimos is not an asteroid that got stuck in the orbit of Mars eons ago, which was the leading theory until now. Instead, they claim that the moon appears to have a Martian origin, perhaps from the largest moon on Mars or from the planet itself.

The findings were presented Monday at the European Geosciences Union general assembly in Vienna.

Amal will still fly within striking distance of Deimos this year, but not as close as during their March 10 meeting, according to Al-Matroushi.

NASA's Viking 2 probe came within 30 kilometers (19 miles) of Deimos in 1977. Since then, other spacecraft have photographed the natural satellite, but from much further away.

Amal was launched towards Mars on July 19, 2020, one day before the 50th anniversary of the first human moon landing, when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on Earth's moon on the Apollo 11 mission.

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