Deimos rising? Phobos falling!

One of my favourite web sites is the Astronomy Picture of the Day by NASA. It is a great place to find impressive pictures for computer desktops. Today’s is a marvellous example: a close up photo (the highest res image available is a 13MB file!) of the larger of Mars’ two moons (and thought to be captured asteroids), Phobos.

Phobos is remarkable in that it orbits Mars at such close range that it will eventually spiral in toward the planet and be torn apart by gravity to form a ring of rock around the planet. This could happen within the next 100 million years or so.

BTW the title of this post makes reference to one of my all-time favourite computer games of the early ‘noughties’: Deimos Rising was a simple side-scrolling shooter and heaps of fun.


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