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Phobos: Mars’ Moon Being Pulled Apart by Tidal Forces, latest story

Phobos’ surface grooves appear to be stress fractures, according to a study presented to the American Astronomical Society. Phobos is expected to collide with Mars in 30 million to 50 million years.

The long, shallow grooves lining the surface of Phobos are likely early signs of the structural failure that will ultimately destroy this moon of Mars.

phobas

Orbiting a mere 3,700 miles (6,000 kilometers) above the surface of Mars, Phobos is closer to its planet than any other moon in the solar system. Mars’ gravity is drawing in Phobos, the larger of its two moons, by about 6.6 feet (2 meters) every hundred years. Scientists expect the moon to be pulled apart in 30 to 50 million years.

We think that Phobos has already started to fail, and the first sign of this failure is the production of these grooves,” said Terry Hurford of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

The findings by Hurford and his colleagues are being presented Nov. 10, 2015, at the annual Meeting of the Division of Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society at National Harbor, Maryland.

Phobos’ grooves were long thought to be fractures caused by the impact that formed Stickney crater. That collision was so powerful, it came close to shattering Phobos. However, scientists eventually determined that the grooves don’t radiate outward from the crater itself but from a focal point nearby.

More recently, researchers have proposed that the grooves may instead be produced by many smaller impacts of material ejected from Mars. But new modeling by Hurford and colleagues supports the view that the grooves are more like “stretch marks” that occur when Phobos gets deformed by tidal forces.

The gravitational pull between Mars and Phobos produces these tidal forces. Earth and our moon pull on each other in the same way, producing tides in the oceans and making both planet and moon slightly egg-shaped rather than perfectly round.

The same explanation was proposed for the grooves decades ago, after the Viking spacecraft sent images of Phobos to Earth. At the time, however, Phobos was thought to be more-or-less solid all the way through. When the tidal forces were calculated, the stresses were too weak to fracture a solid moon of that size.

The recent thinking, however, is that the interior of Phobos could be a rubble pile, barely holding together, surrounded by a layer of powdery regolith about 330 feet (100 meters) thick.

“The funny thing about the result is that it shows Phobos has a kind of mildly cohesive outer fabric,” said Erik Asphaug of the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University in Tempe and a co-investigator on the study. “This makes sense when you think about powdery materials in microgravity, but it’s quite non-intuitive.”

An interior like this can distort easily because it has very little strength and forces the outer layer to readjust. The researchers think the outer layer of Phobos behaves elastically and builds stress, but it’s weak enough that these stresses can cause it to fail.

All of this means the tidal forces acting on Phobos can produce more than enough stress to fracture the surface. Stress fractures predicted by this model line up very well with the grooves seen in images of Phobos. This explanation also fits with the observation that some grooves are younger than others, which would be the case if the process that creates them is ongoing.

The same fate may await Neptune’s moon Triton, which is also slowly falling inward and has a similarly fractured surface. The work also has implications for extrasolar planets, according to researchers.

“We can’t image those distant planets to see what’s going on, but this work can help us understand those systems, because any kind of planet falling into its host star could get torn apart in the same way,” said Hurford.

SOURCE :NASA

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Gautam Buddha statue seen on Mars: Other findings from NASA

UFO Sightings Daily has claimed that a giant Buddha statue is present on the Red planet, Mars. The photo has been captured by NASA’s Curiosity rover. In the statue, a face and head turned to its right, with breasts and a plump stomach, shoulders with remarkable detailing can be clearly seen.

It has also been confirmed that there used to have ancient lakes on the surface of the planet some millions of years ago.mars buddha

This is not the first time Curiosity rover has sent such images. In August, the spacecraft sent images of a woman-like figure and a tentacle bearing crab-like creature.

Here is a list of some of the other images that have been captured in the past:

Martian face captured by Viking 1 mission in 1976
On July 25, 1976, Viking 1 captured the image of a pile of rocks that greatly resembled a human face. NASA described it as a “huge rock formation on the surface of Mars which resembled a human head.” However, it was also believed that the face is the leftover of an alien civilisation.

Perfectly formed Pyramids by Curiosity Rover
Perfectly formed pyramids were a convincing evidence that there is extra-terrestrial life on Mars. It was again believed that they are most probably the result of rock formation on its surface.

Creature captured by Curiosity Rover in 2015
NASA had earlier shared a picture of a large tentacle bearing creature which resembled a crab. It was reported that it shows signs that it is alive. The Director of Search for Extra-Terrestrial Life Institute (SETI), Seth Shostak, said that it is a case of Pareidolia when the brain tricks the eyes into seeing familiar shapes and objects.

Trees on Planet Mars in 2010
The photos of trees on Mars was captured by the most powerful camera, HiRISE in the year 2010 which was circling the red planet since 2006. The images appear to show rows of conifers emerging from dunes and hills on the planet’s surface.

Man on Mars
A former NASA employee Jackie confessed in 2014 that while she was downloading telemetry from a Viking Lander, she saw the humans via live feed.

A woman captured by Curiosity rover in 2015
The recent picture which has been taken by Curiosity rover shows that there is a woman standing on top of a cliff, with long hair, wearing a dress and watching the probe. There is a small painting or carving on the nearby stone. There is also a track in between a manhole and a small house like tent.

Apart from water on Mars there are other solid traces of human life that have been found on the planet, all elements essential to life on Earth like carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen and phosphorus.

 source :india today
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NASA: US Space Agency Says There Is Evidence of Liquid Water on Mars

NASA announced Monday that scientists have concluded the long streaks appearing on the planet’s surface contain mineral salts and flowing water is the likeliest explanation for their appearance.

The dark, narrow streaks flowing downhill on Mars at sites such as this portion of Horowitz Crater are inferred to be formed by seasonal flow of water on modern-day Mars. The streaks are roughly the length of a football field. Details: http://go.nasa.gov/1LhJHsE #JourneyToMars

mars water

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