Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Moon of the Day - Deimos

Today's moon is Deimos, the outer moon of Mars.

Like Phobos, Deimos' origin is still a matter of debate. Since its composition is similar to carbonaceous asteroids, it would seem logical that it could have been captured from the main belt. But there would have to be some mechanism for circularizing its orbit. Mars' atmosphere is too thin for atmospheric braking. But tidal forces, or perhaps the ejection of one or several other bodies, could have eliminated the eccentricity.

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