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Phobos—A Small Moon Rather Than A Big Rock

Above is a picture of Phobos.

While Phobos looks like a rock, it is in fact a moon of Mars.

The above graphic shows the orbit around Mars of the two Martian moons.

They spin around and around to no apparent end. 

Here are some facts about Phobos–

Phobos, the largest Martian, gouged and nearly shattered by a giant impact crater and beaten by thousands of meteorite impacts, is on a collision course with Mars

Phobos, named after a messenger of the Roman god of war, is the larger of Mars’ two moons and 27 by 22 by 18 km in diameter. It orbits Mars three times a day, and is so close to the planet’s surface that in some locations on Mars it cannot always be seen.

Measurements of the day and night sides of Phobos show such extreme temperature variations that the sunlit side of the moon rivals a pleasant winter day in Chicago, while only a few kilometers away, on the dark side of the moon, the climate is more harsh than a night in Antarctica. High temperatures for Phobos were measured at -4 degrees Celsius (25 degrees Fahrenheit) and lows at -112 Celsius (-170 degrees Fahrenheit). This intense heat loss is likely a result of the fine dust on Phobos’ surface, unable to retain heat.

Phobos has no atmosphere. It may be a captured asteroid, but some scientists show evidence that contradicts this theory.

Moral of the story—Though it may look like a rock, it may in fact be a moon. 

June 18, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,

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