The Martian moon Phobos is doomed. Nobody is sure when, but one day in the future its orbit will decay sufficiently that it with either be pulled apart or will simply crash into the surface of the planet.
As if that isn’t dramatic enough, there is no scientific consensus on how Phobos came into existence.
Examination of its surface and composition suggest it might be no more than an orbiting pile of rubble covered in a thick layer of regolith (dust).
But rubble from what? Captured asteroids? Perhaps — the asteroid belt is, after all, not so far away.
Yet this wouldn’t explain the moon’s circular orbit, which is highly unusual for captured asteroids.
And how about that massive Stickey crater (pictured)? How did Phobos survive an impact powerful enough to leave a crater that large?
Could Phobos be artificial? It sounds like a grand conspiracy theory… doesn’t it?
I love the Red Planet. Not enough to want to move there, admittedly, but there’s plenty to inspire from a distance.
The more we look, the more mysterious it becomes.
My sequel to Sleeping Gods is heading to Mars. It’ll be out next year. It’s going to blow your mind.
If you haven’t already read Sleeping Gods, join my subscriber list and you get it for free.