Mars has been a hotbed for space exploration over the past several decades. However, just recently we got our closest look at the Martian moons Deimos and Phobos in images captured by the Emirates Mars Mission.
This new look at the Martian moons, as well as the data that they have provided, could very well give astronomers more information about where these two moons came from. Understanding their origins could answer a lot of questions, too, including why Deimos looks the way it does.
If you haven’t ever seen the Martian moon Deimos, then this newest image is a great place to start because it captured the small, misshapen moon in exceptional detail. The UAE’s Hope orbiter (which is what the Emirates Mars Mission calls its probe) has been orbiting the Martian world since early 2021.
During that time, the probe has captured information about the Red Planet, including this latest string of images and videos of the Martian moon Deimos. While previous close-up images were usually generated, these images of Deimos and Phobos were captured as the UAE probe flew less than 100km from the moons.
The exact origin of Mars’ two small moons is unknown. Some astronomers believe that they may be asteroids captured by the planet’s gravitational pull. However, these new observations and measurements revealed more about the composition of the two moons.
Instead of looking like they are made of the same material as asteroids typically are, these new Phobos and Deimos images indicate that the two moons are cut from the same clothe as Mars itself. This suggests that the moons were either made from Mars or at least from the same reserve of planetary material that formed the Red Planet.
This, of course, is a huge discovery, as learning the origins of these two moons will no doubt help us better understand how they came to be and perhaps unlock more about Mars’ ancient secrets along the way.