Moon party!

Watch: Rare alignment of Mars' and Jupiter's moons captured from orbit

Right place, right time.

ESA/DLR/FU Berlin

Spacecraft image credit: ESA/ATG medialab; Mars: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

From orbit, the European Space Agency’s Mars Express spacecraft keeps a watchful eye on the Red Planet and its two moons.

NASA via Giphy

But that’s not all the orbiter can see.

Even though 463 million miles separate it from Jupiter, Mars Express occasionally gets a glimpse of the bright gas giant and its many moons.

In February, the orbiter got a front-row seat to a rare celestial alignment.

ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum) and S. Walter/Celestia/NAIF/SPICE

Mars’ moon Deimos passed in front of Jupiter on February 14 while all four of its major moons were visible.

Roberto Machado Noa/Moment/Getty Images

NASA via Giphy

The ESA released the footage this week, providing a stunning glimpse at the enigmatic planet and its satellites.

Here’s the footage captured by Mars Express:

Spacecraft image credit: ESA/ATG medialab; Mars: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

Deimos can be seen in the foreground, with Jupiter (the white, glowing ball in the center) appearing behind.

ESA/DLR/FU Berlin

Deimos first passes Europa and Ganymede to the left of Jupiter, then Io and Castillo to the right.

ESA/DLR/FU Berlin

ESA/DLR/FU Berlin

Mars Express took 80 individual images to capture the trajectory of Deimos.

As it drifted away from Deimos, the orbiter captured this view of Mars’ other moon, Phobos, passing in front of it.

ESA/DLR/FU Berlin

It’s not often that Mars Express and Deimos meet, since their orbits are on very different planes. This video shows the orbiter’s trajectory in 2010, though it has shifted over time.

ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum) and S. Walter/Celestia/NAIF/SPICE

NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

It’s even more uncommon that all four of Jupiter’s moons would be aligned when Mars Express was near Deimos.

Spotting this rare pass helps researchers better predict the orbits of Jupiter and Mars’ moons — which is important for upcoming missions to the gas giant’s satellites.