Mars has always been a planet that stands as a mystery to many astronomers. There is something peculiar about the moons of the red planet. A new study about these natural satellites reveals a long-hidden secret about the planet. Mars may have a circle of moons with ring formation, whereas the old moons broke up into fragments and joined to form a new one. The two moons of the mysterious planet, Phobos and Deimos reveal a big secret about the origin of the Red Planet.
Phobos is the closes moon to the planet than any other in the orbit. It completes an orbit of the planet within 7 hours and 39 minutes. Deimos, on the other hand, is almost 7 times smaller than Phobos but completes an almost circular orbit around Mars. Both of these moons are basically parts of an asteroid attracted and kept in position by the gravitational field of Mars.
Rings present in Mars just like Saturn
A recent study published in the Astrophysical Journey Lettersshows that the Red Planet had a ring of natural satellites just like Saturn. A team of scientists reveals that Mars had a moon orbiting the planet which was almost 20 times bigger than Phobos. However this event timescales to almost 3 billion years ago.
At the time of its death, this moon was pulled towards Mars and blasted apart to form a ring. Through this, the team suggests that there is a cycle that the red planet follows for creating its moons. They are born, grown, ripped apart, and then born again from the ring of debris that forms in their places.
Researchers from Purdue University have also published a similar study about the planet. Overall, it is possible that maybe in a distant future the planet will have a ring again. The gravitational pull of the planet is strong. So it will not be a problem to attract in debris from a passing asteroid.
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Suryapratim Ray is an engineer, author, robotics hobbyist, and an active Quoran. Being a technical blogger, he covers the good, bad, and ugly of science on a regular basis at Sciencenews18. In addition to his passion for writing, he’s equally keen on learning classical music.