“Phobos” – Mars Strange ‘science fiction’ moon may contain references to ancient life

Posted on Apr 8th, 2021 in Astronomy, Science

A mysterious vertical rock formation, similar to the monolith in Arthur C. Clarke’s novel and Stanley Kubrick’s film 2001: A Space Odyssey, Towers over the surface of Mars’ 17 miles wide and deeply grooved moon Phobos. The origin of the monolith, and even of Phobos itself, which means “fear” in Greek, is unknown. The monolith could explain Russia’s almost mystical obsession with Phobos. First the Soviet Union, then more recently Russia, made three attempts to reach the enigmatic object, but software bugs and startup disasters canceled any attempt.

In 2016 the BBC reported the public that a mysterious monolithic object was discovered by a NASA probe on Phobos a few years earlier, and to this day no one is entirely sure what it is or how it got there. “When people find out about it, they’ll say, ‘Who put this there? Who put that there? ‘”Said Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk the moon in 2009, over the peculiar and lonely great rock that is on the surface of Phobos.

Japan’s MMX mission

Back to the present: Japan is on deck planning the launch of its MMX Mission to Phobos in 2024 for rock samples to decipher the chemistry of the strange moon and decipher its origin, as well as providing clues to the existence of life on ancient Mars, reports Robin George Andrews for the New York Times. Meteors crashing onto Mars could have covered Phobos with a layer of Martian dust that can be both very young and extremely old. This shows “how Mars went from being an inhabitable to an uninhabitable world,” he says Tomohiro Usui, a robotic planetary exploration expert with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, currently at NASA’s Johnson Space Center.

“Shouldn’t exist”

“They are super weird, confusing and interesting,” said Abigail Fraeman, A planetary scientist studying Mars, Phobos, and its little sister moon Deimos at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “They’re checking all the boxes that match these trapped asteroids,” Fraeman said. “They just shouldn’t exist,” added Fraeman. “They don’t make sense.”

Mars’ strange mystery Moon Phobos – “Its orbit may reveal secrets billions of years old”

Primitive trapped asteroids?

The debate about the origin of the two moons has divided scientists for decades since the early days of planetary research. In visible light, Phobos and Deimos look much darker than Mars and resemble the primitive asteroids of the outer solar system, suggesting that the moons are asteroids that were trapped in the gravitational pull of Mars long ago. However, the shapes and angles of the moons’ orbits do not fit the trapping hypothesis. Some scientists suggest that the moons must have formed at the same time as Mars or were due to a massive impact on the planet during its formative millennia.

Stickney Crater notices

A 2018 study by Brown University suggests that the strange, distinctive grooves that criss-cross the surface of Phobos were created by rolling boulders that were blasted free from an ancient asteroid impact that created the Stickney Crater, a giant one A 9-kilometer cut at one end of Phobos’ elongated body (pictured) at the top of the page. Computer models show that boulders rolling across the surface after Stickney’s impact may have created the enigmatic patterns of grooves first seen by NASA’s Mariner and Viking missions in the 1970s. Some scientists suspect that Mars’ gravity is slowly tearing Phobos apart and the grooves are signs of structural failure.

In less than 100 million years, said Matija Ćuk, A scientist at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif., Phobos, who may have been assembled only 200 million years ago, will get so close to Mars that its gravity will tear the moon apart and turn it into a mini-Saturn-like system of rings .

Enduring secret of the dark moons of Mars Phobos and Deimos

“It won’t be the first time, say some scientists,” reports the New York Times “Recent calculations suggest that Phobos was once 20 times as massive. But as one hypothesis suggests, it drifted towards Mars and broke into ring material, with much of it raining on Mars. The remaining ring material clumped together into a new, smaller Phobos. This cycle has repeated itself several times over billions of years, with Phobos shrinking with each completed cycle. “

Scientists could get their answer on the origins of Phobos in the next few years, if the Martian moon exploration The spaceship fulfills its mission to collect samples and bring them back to earth for analysis.

The daily galaxy Maxwell Moe, Astrophysicists, NASA Einstein Fellow, University of Arizona above New York Times and BBC

Photo credit: NASA / JPL / University of Arizona

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