Two months into its road trip to Mount Sharp, NASA's Mars rover Curiosity paused and pointed its cameras skyward as the planet's larger moon Phobos sailed in front of the sun.
NASA released a trio of Curiosity's pictures on Thursday, taken three seconds apart on Aug. 17 and showing the solar eclipse - the sharpest eclipse images ever taken from Mars.
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Viewed from the planet's surface, Phobos does not fully cover the sun, so this type of eclipse is known as a "ring" or "annular" eclipse.
"It was even closer to the sun's center than predicted, so we learned something," Curiosity scientist Mark Lemmon, with Texas A&M University, said in a NASA press release.
"This event occurred near noon at Curiosity's location, which put Phobos at its closest point to the rover, appearing larger against the sun than it would at other times of day," Lemmon said.
"This is the closest to a total eclipse of the sun that you can have from Mars," he added.
Curiosity touched down inside a giant impact basin near the planet's equator last August for a two-year mission to assess if the planet most like Earth in the solar system has - or ever had - the ingredients to support and preserve life.