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Business News/ Science / News/  Accident alert! NASA captures image of ‘space potato’ on a collision course with Mars | See photo
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Accident alert! NASA captures image of ‘space potato’ on a collision course with Mars | See photo

The National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA) recently shared image of a giant Phobos, Mars' giant star which is heading towards collision with the Red planet

NASA has recently shared an image of Phobos moon of Mars which is on its course to collide with the planet.Premium
NASA has recently shared an image of Phobos moon of Mars which is on its course to collide with the planet.

One of the two moons of Mars, Phobos, is on its path to collide with the giant Red Planet. The National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA) recently shared an image of the lumpy astronomical object, which appears like a potato travelling in space. Phobos got its lumpy shape because of its weak gravity. As the gravity was not strong enough to pull the object into a sphere, Phobos got a lumpy shape.

“Phobos is the larger of Mars' two moons—but it's still only about 17 x 14 x 11 miles (27 by 22 by 18 kilometers) in diameter. Because Phobos is so small, its gravity isn't strong enough to pull it into a sphere (like Earth's Moon), giving it its lumpy shape," wrote NASA on X.

About Phobos moon

Mars moons are one of the smallest in the solar system. However, Phobos is comparatively larger than its peer, Deimos. Phobos orbits only 3,700 miles (6,000 kilometres) above the Martian surface and is the only moon to orbit this much close to its planet. Phobos revolves around Mars three times a day, which means you can see this ‘space potato’ three timesa day on Mars' surface. On the contrary, another Mars moon, Deimos, takes nearly 30 hours for each orbit.

Phobos heading to collision with Mars

Phobos is on a collision course with Mars. However, it may take nearly 50 million years, for the lumpy moon to reach the Read Planet and collide with it. Phobos is nearing the Red Planet at a rate of six feet (1.8 meters) every hundred years. At that rate, the moon will either crash into Mars in 50 million years or break up into a ring. The image shared by the US space agency was shared by NASA's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on its Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has been studying Mars since 2006.

 

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Published: 22 Jun 2024, 12:08 PM IST
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