Phobos, one of Mars' moons, is getting closer to the planet each year, and eventually, it will crash into Mars due to tidal forces.

Whenever there is a mention of Mars, we always think about how humans will colonize the planet. Nobody usually thinks about Mars’s moon.

How many moons do mars have?

Being an Earth-like planet, Mars does have two moons. These moons are among the smallest moons in our solar system. The names of these two martian moons are Phobos and Deimos. 

Both of these moons look like asteroids. A long time ago, because of Jupiter’s gravity, two asteroids ejected from the asteroid belt. Mars captured these two asteroids and they became its moons. The moons do not even have strong gravitational forces. That’s why these moons look like an asteroid, and couldn’t make them spherical. Both of them are tidally locked with Mars.

The details of the Phobos moon.

This is the largest moon of Mars. Its name comes from a Greek word, and it means fear. It was discovered in 1877. Its radius is just 11km. The moon is at a distance of only 6,000 km from the surface of Mars. It takes only 8 hours to complete one orbit around Mars. So in one Martian day, it orbits Mars three times.

One of the dominant features of this moon is that it has a large impact crater with a diameter of about 9.5 kilometers. The remaining surface of the moon also has many small craters. Possibly these small craters formed during the formation of the big impact crater.

This moon of Mars is doomed and is destined to crash into Mars. It is moving toward Mars with each passing day. Scientists calculated that every 100 years, Phobos moves towards Mars by 6 feet. In the next 50 million years, this moon will crash into Mars. As Phobos is tidally locked with Mars. It’s one hemisphere receives sunlight for 2/3 of its orbit. The other hemisphere facing Mars remains protected from cosmic rays. In 2026, a rover will land on Mars’ surface to study Phobos. 

Mars Moon Phobos

Apparently, Phobos satisfies all the scientific requirements for doing scientific studies on Mars and Phobos itself. Unlike Earth’s moon, Mars’ moon Phobos is moving towards Mars with each passing day. Every 100 years, it moves toward Mars by 6 feet. In the next 30 to 50 million years, the moon will crash into Mars, or there is a strong possibility that it will break up into small pieces and form a ring around Mars. 

The details of the Deimos Moon 

This is the smallest moon of Mars. Its name also comes from a Greek word. It means panic. Its radius is just 13 kilometers. It orbits at a distance of 24,000 kilometers from Mars. It takes around 30 hours to complete one orbit around Mars.

The surface of this moon also has many craters. It is a composition of C-type rocks. This moon of Mars is slowly drifting away from Mars, and eventually, it will completely drift away from the planet’s gravity, leaving Mars moonless.

Mars Moon Deimos

There is also a probability that one of the moons will become a base from which astronauts can observe Mars. They can launch robots on Mars while getting shielded from cosmic rays by the moon itself. 

How Mars’ moon will help us is the topic of the future. Check out this story to learn how the Earth’s moon slows down the Earth’s speed. 

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