An Analysis of Martian Satellite Photographic Observations of 1967
NAVAL OBSERVATORY WASHINGTON DC
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Photographic observations of the Martian satellites were made at the opposition of 1967 with the Naval Observatorys 61-inch astrometric reflector. A small partially transparent metallic film filter was used to diminish the light from Mars in order that a measurable image for the planetary disk as well as for the satellites could be obtained. The main result of the orbital adjustment is a 2 deg correction to the zero of mean longitude for Phobos. The scale of the orbits of both satellites gave accordant values for the mass of Mars, and the combined value is in good agreement with modern determinations. The mean error for Deimos derived from the residuals after solution is plus or minus 0.11 sec which agrees well with the observational error and indicates no large systematic error in either the theory or the observations. For Phobos however, the residual error, plus or minus 0.19 sec, is twice the expected observational error. The implications of this discrepancy are discussed.
- Unmanned Spacecraft