Mars May Have Had a Massive Ring More Than a Billion Years Ago, Study Finds

File photo of mars.

File photo of mars.

According to scientists, Mars has a tendency of ring-moon formations.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: June 5, 2020, 4:10 PM IST
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New studies of Mars' two small moons with erratic orbits have suggested that the planet probably had a giant ring in the past.

Mars has two moons, Deimos and Phobos. And both of the satellites have irregular orbits. Phobos is the larger of two satellites and revolves around Mars just 3,700 miles above the planet's surface. On the other hand, Deimos has an orbit that is slightly tilted.

This week, when the American Astrological Society met, SETI Institute scientists suggested that Deimos' orbit may be erratic because of the gravitational pull of a moon that no longer exists.

This, in fact, brings to mind previous research that exists about the satellites of Mars. According to scientists, Mars has a tendency of ring-moon formations. This means that from time to time, moons are drawn towards the planet because of their gravitational pull and then break up into smaller fragments to form a ring around it. The broken fragments later coalesce into a new satellite altogether.

In a new press release, the scientists have claimed that the tilt in Deimos' orbit was considered insignificant in the past. No one really paid heed to it. However, the irregular orbit and the fact that the satellite is farther away from Mars than Phobos may have more serious implications.

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