Will Mars ever get rings?
Mars has two moons, Phobos and Deimos, and scientists think the former’s days are numbered. In about 10 to 50 million years, Phobos is expected to break apart and possibly form a ring around Mars. Why? Well, Phobos is slowly falling towards the Red Planet due to the gravitational pull of Mars. It orbits just 6,000 kilometres above the surface (in comparison, our Moon is 384,000 kilometres away) and is getting closer to Mars by 1.8 centimetres a year.
Eventually, the weakest, most damaged material will be pulled from the moon. Scientists aren’t sure if it will then fall towards Mars and impact the surface, or if the fragments will form a ring. Either way, it should be pretty spectacular.
Published at Tue, 16 Mar 2021 09:49:01 +0000