The moons of Mars, Phobos and Deimos, could both come from the remains of a larger moon that once circled around the Red Planet, according to a new study.
The origins of Phobos and Deimos remain uncertain. While their distorted shapes and cratered surfaces suggested they were asteroids captured by Mars ‘gravitational pull, previous research has questioned this scenario due to the moons’ near-circular orbits around the equator. of the red planet. If these moons were truly captured asteroids, computer simulations have shown that they would likely have more irregular orbits.
As such, the researchers also came up with another idea: Phobos and Deimos could have formed from a disc of rock and dust that could have once orbited a newborn Mars. However, this scenario faces a number of unique challenges.
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For example, to form two moons of such sizes and distances from Mars, previous studies suggested that a large, massive disk was needed. Given such a disk, the formation “of a single larger moon is much more likely, similar to Earth’s moon,” says lead study author Amirhossein Bagheri, a planetary science researcher at the ‘Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in…
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