Want to stay on top of all the space news? Follow @universetoday on TwitterWe take it for granted that there will be one moon in the sky when we look to the heavens at night. Would you be surprised to find out that a single moon is actually an anomaly in our solar system? There are 166 known moons in the Milky Way and that number could increase at any given time as space probes delve deeper into the orbits and rings of our solar neighbors. The rings of Saturn are thought to be hiding a few extra moons.
With Mars being our nearest neighbor, it is quite normal to wonder about the moons of Mars. There are two for now. What the future holds is difficult to say. Here on Universe Today we have several articles about the Martian moons, so we decided to compile a page of links to that material for our readers quick reference. Link diving is not always fun, but, if you have an idea what to expect, it can be quite interesting. To that end, here are a few facts about the moons of Mars.
The orbit of one of Mars’s moons is degrading. Some scientists believe that the moon will impact the planet’s surface within the next 10 million years or so, well, what’s left of it after gravity tears it apart.. That leads to speculation as to haw many moons have disappeared in the same manner.
The moons of Mars are smaller than our own Moon. Actually, our Moon is larger than both of them combined.
If a moon orbits a planet faster than it rotates, the moon will spiral into the planet. When a moon orbits slower than its planet, it spirals away from the planet.
Every body in the solar system formed by accretion(impacting other bodies and sticking together). Some moons are large bodies that were thrown away after an impact and others, like the moons of Mars are objects that accreted to a certain point then were captured by a larger bodies gravity.
The moons of Mars have received more than their fair share of research because they orbit our closest neighbor. Each has its own interesting characteristics and lessons to teach our scientists. You will find plenty of information in the links below. Hopefully, you will find everything that you need and, as always, enjoy your research.
- Mars Moons
- Mars Moon Phobos
- Mars Moon Deimos
- How Many Moons Does Mars Have?
- Moons of Mars