EGU23-9807, updated on 26 Feb 2023
EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

The First Observations of Deimos from the Emirates Mars Mission (EMM) Flybys 

Christopher Edwards1, Mikki Osterloo2, Charles Fisher3, Chris Jeppesen3, Nathan Smith1, Greg Holsclaw3, Michael Wolff2, Andrew Jonees3, Justin Knavel3, Emily Pilinski3, Daniel Kubitschek3, Thibaud Teil3, Justin Deighan3, Hessa Al Matroushi4, Jeff Parker5, Philip Christensen6, Saadat Anwar6, Heather Reed3, Pete Withnell3, and Omran Sharaf4
Christopher Edwards et al.
  • 1Department of Astronomy and Planetary Science, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ, USA (
  • 2Space Science Institute, Boulder, CO USA
  • 3Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 4Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, Dubai, UAE
  • 5Advanced Space, Westminster, CO, USA
  • 6School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA

The origins of the martian moons Phobos and Deimos remain enigmatic. Over the past decades a range of spacecraft have observed Phobos and Deimos in order to constrain their origin and evolutionary history, with proposals for their origins ranging from captured asteroids, to coalesced material from a giant impact on Mars. However, given the orbits these spacecraft and the orbits of Phobos and Deimos, Phobos has garnered the majority of the attention. Now thanks to the unique orbit of the Emirates Mars Mission (EMM) Hope spacecraft and a minor correction to its nominal science orbit, EMM has a unique opportunity to examine Deimos in great detail while fully retaining the originally designed mission to capture the variability in the martian atmosphere and exosphere.

Following a minor orbital adjustment maneuver campaign beginning in August 2022, EMM will encounter Deimos multiple times, progressively observing the martian moon at lower and lower distances beginning in early 2023. These flybys culminate in the closest approach of ~150 km, observing the mostly illuminated, far side of Deimos. All three EMM instruments, the Emirates eXploration Imager (EXI), the Emirates Mars Infrared Spectrometer (EMIRS), and the Emirates Ultraviolet Spectrometer (EMUS) have observation sequences tailored to these flybys, collecting the highest resolution multispectral visible imaging data, thermal infrared surface temperatures and emission spectra, and ultraviolet spectra.  When combined these instrument observations will provide key insights into the composition, morphology, and surface physical properties of the least studied martian moon, Deimos.

How to cite: Edwards, C., Osterloo, M., Fisher, C., Jeppesen, C., Smith, N., Holsclaw, G., Wolff, M., Jonees, A., Knavel, J., Pilinski, E., Kubitschek, D., Teil, T., Deighan, J., Al Matroushi, H., Parker, J., Christensen, P., Anwar, S., Reed, H., Withnell, P., and Sharaf, O.: The First Observations of Deimos from the Emirates Mars Mission (EMM) Flybys , EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-9807,, 2023.