To commemorate the second anniversary of the mission's launch, China's Tianwen 1 Mars orbiter has sent back an incredible image of the Martian moon Phobos. Phobos, a famously potato-shaped natural satellite orbiting Mars, served as the celebratory balloon on Saturday to mark the two-year anniversary of China's Tianwen-1 mission's launch.

The image was taken by Tianwen 1's high-resolution camera, the same device that was used to photograph the landing zone for the mission's Zhurong rover. The Mars orbiter was then situated 5,100 kilometers (3,200 miles) from Phobos, the bigger of the two moons that circle the Red Planet.

Tianwen 1 needed to change its angle, or orientation, in order to photograph Phobos, and it also needed to choose a specific time during their individual orbits of Mars that would allow for a relatively close approach and favorable solar lighting.

Some of Phobos's distinctive linear grooves are evident on the surface of the photograph, which has a resolution of 160 feet (50 meters) per pixel.

Pik Crater is also mentioned in the image, which was made public by the Planetary Exploration of China (PEC) and the China National Space Administration (CNSA). The feature bears the name of Ernst Pik, an Estonian astronomer, and astrophysicist who proposed the existence of the Pik-Oort cloud, a collection of comets and other icy objects far beyond Pluto.

On July 23, 2020, Tianwen 1 was launched, and it recently accomplished its principal scientific objectives, including surveying the whole surface of Mars. It has brought back a variety of amazing photographs, including "selfies" taken by tiny, reusable spacecraft that was sent there specifically for the purpose.

In May 2021, the Zhurong rover touched down in Utopia Planitia after traveling to Mars with the orbiter. Considering that it is winter in Mars' northern hemisphere, the solar-powered rover is currently hibernating.

Phobos and the smaller moon Deimos are the two moons of Mars. Impact craters and grooves can be found all over Phobos, which is at its widest point 17 miles (27 kilometers) across. The stresses of orbiting so close to its host planet have sent it on a long, tortuous route to destruction.

However, Phobos will have millions of years before it meets its end, giving it plenty of time to pose for pictures. The "operation team seized the timing when the orbiter was relatively close to Phobos and captured clear images of the satellite in its "full moon" state," according to the state-run China Daily.