Moons of the Solar System Phobos Moons of Mars Moons Phobos

Phobos is one of the two moons which orbits around Mars in the Solar System. Phobos is the larger of the two moons to orbit Mars and was discovered 6 days after its little brother Deimos. Phobos is approximately double the size compared to its little brother but yet it belongs to the smallest moons in the Solar System.

Phobos is irregularly shaped because of its small size and its surface looks at first instant very much like the Earth’s Moon. Phobos is like its little brother tidally locked to Mars and has no atmosphere. This literally means that the same side of Phobos is always turned towards Mars.

Phobos is also very interesting when it comes to gravity, because there is almost none. The gravity on Phobos is about 1/1000th of the Earth’s gravity; this makes it very difficult and dangerous to walk on Phobos. To make an easier comparison, a man that weighs 70 kilograms on Earth will on Phobos weigh just 70 grams. Because of the low gravity, it would even be possible for people on Phobos to jump out, fly and orbit around the moon itself.

The most noticeably thing on Phobos is the large Stickney crater. The asteroid which hit Phobos and the impact made a significant chance in the structure of the moon, and many lines where formed along the surface as a result.

A day on Phobos takes just around 7 hours and 40 minutes and reaches to orbit Mars around 3 times a day. Because of the tidal locked position, it will appear as the Phobos moon makes a moonrise in the east and a moonset in the west at the same moment.

Phobos is very special because it orbits very close to the surface of Mars, actually closer than any other moon found until date in the Solar System. Beside for this, Phobos is also gradually spinning inwards while it is orbiting Mars, so every century Phobos is approximately 1.8 metres closer to the surface of Mars. Because of this it is estimated that Phobos within the next 50 million years is either has formed a ring around or crashed into Mars.

Scientifically Phobos is an interesting moon, as it could possibly be used as a base for astronauts to observe the planet of Mars, but if there is a future for people on Phobos is hard to tell. Phobos has like Mars, frozen water, though the chances that Phobos would become more like a transfer station before going to the surface of Mars is more likely.