In Century rain, Former space scientist and science-fiction writer, Alastair Reynolds, has Phobos, the 17-mile-wide, dark Naka moon of Mars, as the location of a secret base that holds an ancient relic that opens a portal to far . The Milky Way — the farthest end of a wormhole — where in the mid-twentieth century, Earth provided a desolate place due to technological catastrophe, is preserved like a fly in amber. In science fact, Phobos has long been a subject of mystery, with some scientists believing it to be an alien artifact — a black face that resembles the primitive asteroids of the outer solar system — that was replaced by Mars’ gravitational field Was captured in the past. While others challenge the asteroid hypothesis, suggesting that Phobos may be the remnant of a great influence that occurred early in Martian history.
Accurate data on Phobos’s orbit may shed light on the currently unknown inner workings of Mars. While our Moon is gaining angular momentum and is constantly moving away from Earth, Phobos is slowing down and slowly coming back to Mars. In 30 to 50 million years, it will crash on the surface of the planet.
“We can use this slight slump to estimate how elastic and thus how hot the Martian interior is; “Cold material is always more elastic than hot,” explains Aamir Khan at the ETH Zurich Institute of Geophysics. Ultimately, researchers want to know if Mars was made of the same material as Earth, or if different components can tell that Earth has plate tectonics, dense environments, and life-supporting conditions – characteristics that Mars lacks is.
“Super weird, confusing and interesting”
Phobos is “super weird, misleading, and interesting,” says planetary scientist Abigail Freeman at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory studying Mars, Phobos, and its younger sister, Moon DeMoss. It examines all the boxes that correspond to a captured asteroid. Phobos and Deimos, Freeman says – “Just don’t exist.” They don’t mean anything. ”
The image at the top of the page shows how deep Phobos is compared to Mars. Phobos is the darkest moon in the solar system, and of great interest because its structure and composition may well be unique. (ESA / DLR / FU Berlin, G. Nicum)
Enduring Mystery of Mars’ Dark Moons Phobos and Deimos
“Recent calculations show that Phobos was once 20 times heavier,” the New York Times reports. “But, according to a hypothesis, it moved towards Mars and shattered into the ring material, with most of it roasting Mars. The remaining ring material climbed together in a new, smaller phobos. This cycle would take place over several years. Repeated many times, with Phobos shrinking with every full cycle. ”
Meteor bodies that crashed on Mars can carry Phobos into a layer of Martian dust, which can be both very young and very old, revealing the mystery of how Mars “from a habitable world One can proceed to the uninhabited, ”Tomahiro Usui, who is a robot. Planet exploration scientists are currently working at NASA’s Johnson Space Center.
In April 2019, the first series of solar eclipses were visible from a smooth expanse of lava plains called the Insights’ landing site — the Elysium planitia, but only some of the data recorded was saved. Preliminary indications from that data prompted Simon Stähler, a seismologist at the ETH Zurich Institute of Geophysics, and an international research team to prepare enthusiastically for the next series of eclipses, which occurred on 24 April 2020.
“Phobos” – Mars Strange ‘Science-Fiction’ Moon May Hold Clues to Ancient Life
Insight lander captures solar eclipse
An observer standing on Mars observed that Phobos, the planet’s moon, would cross the sky from west to east every five hours. Its orbit passes through the Sun and is given to Mars about once every Earth year. Whenever this happens, it causes one to seven solar eclipses within three days. One place where this happens is the NASA Insight lander stationed in the Elysium Planitia region since November 2018. In other words, the phenomenon is often greater than that of the Earth, when our Moon crosses in front of the Sun. “However, eclipses on Mars are few – they last just 30 seconds and total eclipses never occur,” Stabler explains.
Photos are not the only way to see these infections. “When the Earth experiences a solar eclipse, devices can detect a drop in temperature and strong gusts of wind, as the atmosphere cools at a particular location and the air moves away from that location,” Steller explains. Analysis of Insight’s data indicates whether a similar effect can be detected on Mars.
As expected, Insight’s solar cells registered infection. “When phobos are in front of the sun, less sunlight reaches the solar cells, and these in turn produce less electricity,” Steller explains. “Decline in light exposure due to phobos’ shadow can be measured.” Actually, the amount of sunlight decreases by 30 percent during eclipse.
“This is an unusual sign”
However, Insight’s weather instruments indicated no atmospheric changes, and winds did not change as expected. Other equipment; However, one expressed surprise: both seismic and magnetometer recorded an effect.
The signal from the magnetometer is most likely due to the decline in the power of the solar cells, as recently with the addition of the Mars team of ETH Zurich, Anna Mittelholz, was able to show. “But we did not expect to read this seismometer; This is an unusual sign, ”says Steller. Typically, this device – equipped with electronics manufactured on the ETH – would indicate earthquakes on the planet. So far, the Marsquake service led by John Clinton and Domenico Giardini on the ETH has recorded approximately 40 traditional quakes, the strongest of which has a magnitude of 3.8, as well as several hundred regional, shallow quakes.
The surprising thing during the solar eclipse was that the seismometer was slightly tilted in a particular direction. “This hunch is incredibly small,” Steller notes. Imagine a 5-franc coin; Now, push two silver atoms down one edge. This is the fallacy we are talking about: 10-8. “As minor as this effect was, it was still unshakable.
“The most obvious explanation would be Phobos’s gravity, which is caused by the tides of the Earth’s moon,” says Steller. If that explanation were to occur, the seismometer signal would be present for a longer period of time and every five hours when Phobos makes his pass, not just during the eclipse.
Researchers determined the most likely cause of the tilt: “During an eclipse, the ground cools. It disproportionately deforms, tilting the instrument,” says Martin van Drell from the Seismology and Wave Physics research group .
As it happens, an infrared sensor actually measures ground cooling on two degrees of Mars. The calculations showed that in 30 seconds of the eclipse, the “cold front” could only penetrate into the ground to a depth of micro or millimeters, but the effect was sufficient to tug on the seismometer.
Black Forest Observatory
An observation on Earth supports the theory of back stlers. At the Black Forest Observatory, located in an abandoned silver mine in Germany, Rudolf Wiedmer-Schneidrig discovered a similar phenomenon: during seismometer testing, someone neglected to let the light out. The heat from the 60-watt bulb was apparently enough to heat the topmost layer of granite below the ground, so that it expanded slightly and caused the seismometer to tilt slightly to one side.
Scientists should be able to use a small tilt signal from Mars, which was previously possible and mapped into the orbit of Phobos with greater accuracy. Insight’s position is the most accurately measured location on Mars; If scientists know precisely that an infection by Phobos begins and ends here, they can calculate its orbit accurately. This is important for future space missions. For example, Japan’s space agency JAXA plans to send an investigation to Mars’ moons in 2024 and bring samples from Phobos to Earth. “To do this, they need to know where they are really going,” says Stahler.
SC Stähler et al.: In Phobos’ Geophysical Observations on Visibility, 04 August 2020, Geophysical Research Paper. Doi: 10.1029 / 2020GL089099
Via Daily Galaxy, Jake Barba, AGU and EHT Mars Zurich