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Does Mars Have Moons?

does-mars-have-moons

ANSWER:

Mars DOES have moons.

More Info: Mars is orbited by two small moons, Deimos and Phobos. Originally discovered by American astronomer Asaph Hall in 1877, the moons of mars are among the smallest in the solar system. Hall named the moons after the sons of the Greek god of war, Ares, who is the Greek counterpart to the Roman god Mars.

Phobos

Phobos, whose name means fear or panic, is the larger of Mars’ two moons, averaging 69.7 km in equatorial circumference. To get a sense of how small that is, compare to the equatorial circumference of the Earth’s moon, which is 10,917. km. Orbiting at a height of only 6,000 km above the Martian surface, Phobos is the lowest orbiting moon currently known, making a complete orbit of the planet 3 times per day.  Additionally, Phobos’ orbit is decaying at a rate of approximately 1.8 meters every hundred years, which means that it will crash into the surface of the planet in around 50 million years.

Deimos

Deimos, whose name means flight or “to flee”, is the smaller of Mars’ diminutive moons with an average equatorial circumference of only 38 km across. However, unlike his brother Phobos, Deimos has a much higher orbit at just over 20,000 km above the planet’s surface and requiring about 30 hrs to orbit the planet.

 

Resources

“Solar System Exploration: Planets: Mars: Overview.” Solar System Exploration: Planets: Mars: Overview. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Jan. 2013.  https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/profile.cfm?Object=Mars&Display=Sats

“Mars Fact Sheet.” Mars Fact Sheet. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Jan. 2013. http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/factsheet/marsfact.html

“Solar System Exploration: Planets: Earth’s Moon: Overview.” Solar System Exploration: Planets: Earth’s Moon: Overview. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Jan. 2013.  https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/profile.cfm?Object=Moon&Display=Facts&System=Scientific

Solar System Exploration: Planets: Comparison Chart. Deimos vs Mars” Solar System Exploration: Planets: Comparison Chart. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Jan. 2013. <http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/compchart.cfm?Object1=Mar_Deimos>.

“Solar System Exploration: Planets: Mars: Moons: Phobos: Overview.” Solar System Exploration: Planets: Mars: Moons: Phobos: Overview. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Jan. 2013. <https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/profile.cfm?Object=Mar_Phobos>.

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