What you’re looking at is not a pixelated image from an old Nintendo game — it’s an image of Mars’ moon, Phobos.
Last year, NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission was able to collect data from within 300 miles of Phobos, and has now released a new image of the moon to further investigate its properties.
NASA captured many images of Phobos in ultraviolet to give them the ability to examine the moon. The data will allow MAVEN to analyze organic molecules found on the surface based on the measurements from the ultraviolet spectrograph on the Mars Express spacecraft.
“The MAVEN data, when fully analyzed, will also help scientists look for organic molecules on the surface. Evidence for such molecules has been reported by previous measurements from the ultraviolet spectrograph on the Mars Express spacecraft, ” according to a statement from NASA.
The orange portion of the image shows mid-ultraviolet (MUV) sunlight reflected from the surface of Phobos. The blue portion of the image shows far ultraviolet light (FUV) which is reflected off of hydrogen gas in Mars's atmosphere.
For more information about the MAVEN mission click here.