For decades, astronomers had been trying to figure out ways of sending the first humans to Mars. But there are certainly a lot of possible dangers for such a journey, and we might now have to take another one into account.
Phobos is one of the Red Planet’s two moons. The other one is Deimos. Although Phobos isn’t big enough to develop a completely spherical form, it’s still pretty huge for its diameter of 14 miles. This can only mean one thing: if it crashes into a planet, the aftermath would be pretty ugly.
Phobos will crash into Mars in the far future
The Phobos moon will crash into our neighboring planet Mars in tens of millions of years. It’s already getting closer to its host planet. The statements are brought by NASA itself. The space agency wrote, according to Futurism.com:
Scientists already know that Phobos is doomed,
[It’s] getting closer to the Martian surface and is destined to crash into the planet in tens of millions of years. But eclipse observations from the surface of Mars over the last two decades have also allowed scientists to refine their understanding of Phobos’ slow death spiral.
Thanks to NASA’s Perseverance rover, the world had insight into how the Phobos moon was crossing the surface of the Sun. The space agency considers that the footage can be helpful when it comes to an understanding of how gravity pulls on the surface of Mars.
If we consider the Chicxulub impactor that killed the dinosaurs on Earth roughly 60 million years ago, the size of Phobos is not too far away from it. Chicxulub had a diameter that measured between 11 and 81 kilometers.
Hoping that humans will still be around in tens of millions of years, the impact between Mars and Phobos surely represents an event that needs to be taken into account.