NewsNASA unveils stunning "cosmic potato" on crash course with mars

NASA unveils stunning "cosmic potato" on crash course with mars

NASA showed a photo of Mars' moon, which could collide with it. It was called the "cosmic potato."
NASA showed a photo of Mars' moon, which could collide with it. It was called the "cosmic potato."
Images source: © Pixabay

1:13 PM EDT, June 27, 2024

NASA published a detailed photo of the moon Phobos, which is on a collision course with Mars. As reported by the Live Science portal, due to its porous surface structure, the largest Martian moon has been described by scientists as a "cosmic potato."

The moon was photographed using the High Definition Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).

It was launched from Earth on August 12, 2005, and reached Martian orbit on March 10, 2006. Now NASA has published the photo, calling the largest Martian moon a "cosmic potato."

Potato in space: What we know about the largest Martian moon

Phobos, named after the Greek god of fear, is about 157 times smaller than Earth's Moon. Its dimensions are 17 miles by 14 miles by 11 miles. It orbits the planet three times a day, so close to its surface that it is not always visible in some places on Mars.

It is on a collision course, as it is approaching the planet at a speed of 0.07 inches per year. Its surface is porous and bears traces of thousands of meteorite impacts.

It is one of the two natural satellites of the Red Planet, alongside the smaller Deimos, whose name comes from the Greek god of terror.

Mars attracted terror and fear

NASA scientists claim that the sister moons were wandering rocks in space captured into Mars' orbit by the planet's gravitational field.

According to them, the uneven surface of Phobos suggests that it was once a comet from the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

Scientists believe the orbits of both moons are very unstable. They predict that in tens of millions of years, Deimos will leave Martian orbit while Phobos will either break up as it approaches Mars' surface or crash into it. According to NASA, however, it is unlikely that this event will occur within the next 50 million years.

Related content