The moons of Mars explained

The moons of Mars explained

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Mars has two moons, Phobos and Deimos. They are really tiny. How tiny? Compared to Mars or our own moon, pretty tiny. Although tiny is a matter of opinion. Their surface area is up close to some of the smallest states of Earth, like Luxemburg and Malta. Although Phobos and Deimos are in no way lightweight, in reality their gravitational pull isn’t even enough to bring them into spherical form. So they look more like huge potatoes than moons. The most popular theory of their origin is that they were once part of the asteroid belt until Jupiter’s massive Gravity kicked them out of it. So Mars could catch them. Phobos orbits Mars at an average distance of 9,400 kilometers, once every seven and a half hours. It’s on a collision course and gets 2 meter closer to Mars every year. In 50 to 100 million years it will be either ripped to pieces by Mars’s gravity and be transformed into a beautiful ring or it will crash into Mars. The energy released in this collision would kill everything on the small planet. So if there are humans on Mars by then, they should build very strong bunkers.

Smaller Deimos on the other hand is slowly escaping Mars. Eventually it will fly off into space and leave a lonely red planet behind. So in a few hundred million years Mars will be moonless and on its own, unless it manages to catch itself another asteroid.

source: Kurzesagt - In a Nutshell 

Answer the questions.

1) What is the estimated size of the moons of Mars?

2) Why are the moons of Mars not spherical in shape?

3) How did the moons get to Mars’s orbit?

4) What will happen to Phobos in 50-100 million years?

5) Why will Mars end up being ‘lonely’?

Key

1. It's about the size of some of the smallest states of Earth, like Luxemburg and Malta.

2. Their gravitational pull isn’t strong enough to bring them into spherical form.

3. They were once part of the asteroid belt until Jupiter’s massive Gravity kicked them out of it. So Mars could catch them. 

4.  It will be either ripped to pieces by Mars’s gravity and be transformed into a beautiful ring or it will crash into Mars.

5. The moon Deimos is slowly escaping Mars and eventually it will fly off into space. 

Vocabulary

tiny

aprócska, picike

matter of opinion

vélemény kérdése

surface

felszín

sphere

gömb

collision course

ütközési pálya

to be ripped to pieces

darabokra tépve lenni

to be transformed

átalakulni

ring

gyűrű

lonely

magányos

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