Phobos Moon of Mars

Phobos doomed Moon of Mars is the largest natural satellite of the Red planet. Is doomed because in 100 million years or so, will likely be shattered forming a dusty-rocky ring around Mars.   Image credit: HiRISE, MRO, LPL (U. Arizona), NASA

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Mars, the red planet named for the Roman god of war, has two small moons, Phobos and Deimos, whose names are derived from the Greek for Fear.

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.

Moon of Mars- orbits

 

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.

Phobos Moon of Mars
Image credit: wikipedia



 

via apod