(ORDO NEWS) — Mars Phobos satellite was once a ring of stones in orbit around Mars. They later formed into a solid space object, and after about 100 million years, it may decay again. According to the DailyMail.
Astronomers from the SETI Institute are currently studying the orbit of two Martian satellites, trying to find confirmation of the theory of the formation of Phobos from rocky stones. However, this can be more accurately determined only after the completion of the space mission to Phobos, scheduled by the space agency in 2024.
The theory of the origin of Phobos from rubble was first presented in 2017: a large cosmic body collided with Mars, and tons of stones were thrown into near-planet orbit. Over time, a satellite of the red planet Phobos formed from these stones.
Researchers believe that the current state of Phobos is just one of the stages of a long process, as a result of which the satellite of the Red Planet will again crumble into its constituent matter.
The last time Phobos was recreated from the wreckage ring was about 200 million years ago. Astronomers hope that the mission planned for 2024 to Phobos will confirm their hypothesis.
According to researchers, if not for the constant cyclic destruction of Phobos, now it would be 20 times larger.
In the future, according to the authors of the theory, Phobos will again draw closer to the Red Planet in order to be destroyed by gravity and turn into a pile of stones. Later it will again form into one cosmic body, but with a smaller size, and it is unlikely that this will be the former Phobos.
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