Mars to Lose Its Largest Moon, Gain Ring
Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley have asserted that Mars’ largest moon Phobos is slowly falling towards it, which will rip off the moon into pieces. However, the pieces will be strewn around Mars and would take the form of a ring, much like Saturn and Jupiter.
According to the scientists, the ripping off of the Phobos might happen around 20 to 40 million years from now. Scientists proposed this theory based on the gravitational pull of Mars that attracts Phobos towards it from a different direction. As Phobos gets closer to the Red Planet, Mars’ tugging would pull the moon apart. Thereafter, the largest parts of the moon would transform into rings that would survive anywhere between 1 million and 100 million years before dropping onto the planet in ‘moon showers’ just like the ‘meteor showers’.
Scientists said, “While our moon is moving away from the earth by a few centimetres every year, Phobos is moving towards Mars by a few centimetres every year. Hence, a collision into the Mars or ripping apart of the moon is inevitable.”