Phobos and Deimos
The first two "asteroids" seen close up were Mars' two tiny moons, Phobos and Deimos, as part of the exploration of Mars. These moons were first photographed by the American Viking mission in the 1970s using a telescopic lens. Successive Mars missions have also photographed and characterized these moons.
The origin of these moons is actually still controversial. It was long thought that they are captured asteroids. However, this is not at all universally accepted because these objects orbit closer to the plane of Mars' equator rather than the solar system plane, and are in nearly circular orbits, whereby computer modeling is not clear about whether a captured asteroid's orbit could eventually take on such an orbit. Another possibility is that they formed from the same material in which Mars formed, or from material blasted off of Mars by other asteroid imacts.
Scientists have deduced that both Phobos and Deimos are closest to the C1 and C2 carbonaceous chondrite classes of materials.
Both asteroids are irregularly shaped. Deimos is roughly 8 km x 15 km in size. Phobos is 28 km x 19 km. For a size comparison, Earth's Moon is more than 3000 km wide (and spherical).
Both Phobos and Deimos have come close to having been broken apart into smaller fragments. Deimos is U-shaped from one angle. Phobos has an 8 km wide crater -- almost half its width -- and is covered with cracks up to 100 meters wide which the powdery surface has subsided into, and which is lined with "beads" which are volcano-like craters with raised rims formed as the result of great quantities of steam blowing out from the heating of internal volatiles due to that impact. The surface gravity of Mars' moons is so weak that you could escape by simply jumping off of the moon with your legs. That is, if you found a good place to jump from, as they have fluffy surfaces and low densities (just around 2 grams per cubic centimeter).
1970s Viking photos of Phobos and Deimos:
PERMANENT.com > Asteroids, Near Earth Objects (NEO) > Probes to Asteroids and NEOs > Phobos, Deimos (Mars moons)
Reasons to do something yourself:
- It will help save life on our special planet -- be part of the solution in your generation.
- It will create and secure a better future for your children and grandchildren.
- It could be an interesting, cool, and a fun adventure for your life!
You can join us and volunteer to help out,
... or ...
If you're short on time, you can just donate:
The Permanent Space Development Foundation, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
If you would like to make a quick donation to our humanistic cause,
then please click on one of the buttons below (which go to PayPal).
... or by cryptocurrency (which is NOT tax deductible), you can donate into any of these wallets:
... or ...
Suggest this website to other people and organizations.
To get updates on PERMANENT (occasional, not frequent), get on our mailing list.
For general or specific e-mail regarding PERMANENT, please use our Feedback page.
Leave information about yourself in our people, companies, and organizations database.
If you are interested in hiring our expertise, anywhere in the world, please contact us.
We have people in the USA and Thailand, and can travel or consult by internet.
You can call anytime, 24/7, at +66-8-1135-7977
Text by Mark Prado, Copyright © 1983-2019, All Rights Reserved.
Many website artistic design elements by Sam Fraser, Copyright © 1999-2019, All Rights Reserved.
Except where specifically stated otherwise,
Copyright © 1983-2019 by Mark Evan Prado, All Rights Reserved
P rojects to E mploy R esources of the M oon and
A steroids N ear E arth in the N ear T erm
please see our
For PCs, this righthand
side has a floating menu,
but if your tablet
or your PCs web browser
do not run
then you must
-- navigate --
using the Site Map above.