June 25, 2024

Brighton Journal

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Missing images suggest that Mars’ mysterious moon Phobos may be an trapped comet in disguise

Missing images suggest that Mars’ mysterious moon Phobos may be an trapped comet in disguise

Mars’ moon Phobos may actually be a comet — or at least part of a comet — that was captured by the red planet long ago, according to a new preprint study based on previously unpublished images.

For many years, researchers have been puzzling over the origins of Phobos and its twin, Deimos. Some have assumed that the moons were former asteroids that were attracted to them MarsGravity, because its chemical composition is similar to that of some rocks in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. However, computer models simulating this capture process have not been able to replicate the pair’s near-circular paths around Mars.