Where did the Martian moon Phobos come from?

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Offline Krupin

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Where did the Martian moon Phobos come from?
« on: 05/11/2010 05:45:58 »
Phobos, the Martian moon, quickly approaches to the surface of the planet due to tidal effect (because Phobos's orbital period is shorter than a Martian day). Only a few hundred million years ago Phobos had to housed almost in a stationary orbit. The probability of formation of Phobos in accuracy in a stationary orbit is negligible. Therefore we must explain how Phobos could be in this orbit.
The author offers the following explanation. After its formation the system of Martian moons consisted of three bodies, like modern Plutonian system. In addition to the tiny moons Phobos and Deimos Mars had another large moon (moon X). Phobos was in orbital resonance with the moon X, and this resonant system was stable and self correcting. Phobos was, as it is now, located below the stationary (areostationary) orbit. The moon X was located above it and tidal influence of Mars pushed the moon X away from the Martian surface. In an effort to keep the orbital resonance, resonant influence of the moon X pulled Phobos up too, in spite of the tidal effect of Mars.
When Phobos had reached stationary orbit, new factor had appeared. This factor was an asymmetry of the Martian surface. Because Phobos's orbital period became equal to Martian day, Phobos located stationary above the surface on Mars, herewith some mountain area was behind him. The force of gravity of huge stone rocks permanently pulling Phobos ago, preventing resonance effect of the moon X. As a result, the moon X continued to rise, and Phobos had stopped at a stationary orbit. Orbital resonance was be broken. From this point Phobos was lowered under the influence of tidal friction of Mars.
   The moon X escaped from Mars because of tidal effect. Or it was broken accidentally flown asteroid. Perhaps some meteorites are fragments of the moon X.

« Last Edit: 05/11/2010 08:36:47 by chris »



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Where did the Martian moon Phobos come from?
« Reply #1 on: 05/11/2010 14:01:44 »
Yours is a very complicated explanation relative to the capture of a random chunk of rock.


Offline Soul Surfer

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Where did the Martian moon Phobos come from?
« Reply #2 on: 05/11/2010 19:17:39 »
Your suggestion Krupin may be a possibility but I think that the most probable answer is a grazing collision with an asteroid that possibly created the Vallis Marinas and both satellites. like our moon probably came from a collision with a larger planet.  Captured asteroids would very probably be in distant retrograde rather than close orbits as is seen with the distant moons of Jupiter and Saturn.
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