One of Mars' Moons Is Literally Pulling Itself to Pieces

By Ria Misra on at

Mars’ moon Phobos is a strange, cratered, misshaped moon—and it’s pulling itself to pieces from the inside out.

We already knew that Phobos appeared to be falling apart for some time now. This new 3D-model from NASA, though, gives us a much better look at the forces that are causing the collapse. Because Phobos is so close to the Martian surface, it’s subject to a much stronger than usual gravitational pull. The result of that pull can be seen up close in what researchers are calling “stretch marks” covering the moon:

One of Mars' Moons Is Literally Pulling Itself to Pieces

One of Mars' Moons Is Literally Pulling Itself to Pieces

NASA estimates that Phobos will have completely broken up within 30-50 million years.

Images: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and ESA/DLR/FU Berlin/G. Neukum


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