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Phobos: Doomed Moon of Mars

Discussion in 'Tech, Science, and Space' started by Robby, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. Robby

    Robby The Robot

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    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)
     
  2. Tom

    Tom An Old Friend

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2004
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    Gulf Coast
    I would like to see an artist show Phobos as a ring of Mars in a slow death spiral.
     
  3. Kevin

    Kevin Code Monkey Staff Abductee

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    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    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.
     

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