Phobos could form Saturn-like ring around Mars


The martian moon Phobos is spiralling towards Mars at a rate of 20 cm a year

The question is when will it hit. On the arxiv today, calculates that we have about 11 million years before it smashes in to the Red Planet. That’s plenty of time to visit although he also points out that Phobos may break up long before that because of tidal forces. If that’s going to happen it’ll probably occur about 7 million years from now.

But it’s not all bad news. Sharma says if tidal forces get the better of Phobos, it should form a Saturn-like ring around Mars. Now that would be worth seeing.

Ref: Theoretical Formulation of the Phobos, moon of
Mars, rate of altitudinal loss.

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