Phobos: Doomed Moon of Mars

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
#1



Phobos: Doomed Moon of Mars
Credit: HiRISE, MRO, LPL (U. Arizona), NASA

Explanation: This moon is doomed. Mars, the red planet named for the Roman god of war, has two tiny moons, Phobos and Deimos, whose names are derived from the Greek for Fear and Panic. These martian moons may well be captured asteroids originating in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter or perhaps from even more distant reaches of the Solar System. The larger moon, Phobos, is indeed seen to be a cratered, asteroid-like object in this stunning color image from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, recorded at a resolution of about seven meters per pixel. But Phobos orbits so close to Mars - about 5,800 kilometers above the surface compared to 400,000 kilometers for our Moon - that gravitational tidal forces are dragging it down. In 100 million years or so Phobos will likely be shattered by stress caused by the relentless tidal forces, the debris forming a decaying ring around Mars.




(Via NASA)
 

Kevin

Code Monkey
Staff member
Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Location
Pennsylvania
#3
I think I played too many Infocom games as a kid.... every time I see or hear the word Phobos I instantly think of the text adventure The Leather Goddesses of Phobos.