There are four planets in the Solar System that have rings: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. However, a new study suggests that Mars may also have been a ringed planet.
the investigation It highlights that one of Mars’ moons, Deimos, has a slightly altered orbit that suggests there was something responsible for its slight tilt.
“The fact that Deimos’s orbit is not exactly in the plane with the equator of Mars was not considered important and no one cared to try to explain it,” said study lead author Matija Ćuk, a research scientist at the SETI Institute, in a sentence. “But once we had a great new idea and looked at it with new eyes, Deimos’ orbital tilt revealed his great secret.”
Deimos is slightly inclined two degrees towards the Martian equator.
The researchers noted that the findings came after looking at Mars’ other moon, Phobos, which they noted will eventually orbit the planet too low (in an astronomical time frame) and that the gravity of the Red Planet will rip it apart and form a ring. around Mars.
The researchers noted that the theory that Mars’ moons break and form rings has another element. “[A] the newborn moon would move away from the ring and Mars, “the statement read. “Which is in the opposite direction to the internal spiral that Phobos experiences due to gravitational interactions with Mars. A moon that migrates outward, just outside the rings, may encounter a so-called orbital resonance, in which the orbital period of Deimos is three times greater than that of the other moon. “
The study has been accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.
Researchers are learning more about Mars’ ancient past. A study published in March He suggested The Red Planet had two unique ancient water deposits that once flowed deep below the planet’s surface.
NASA is slated to launch the recently renamed Perseverance rover on July 17, 2020. In March, Fox News reported the pandemic had not yet affected launch preparations for the unmanned rover, and work “was continuing as scheduled.”
The Perseverance rover will try to detect if there is any fossilized evidence of extraterrestrial beings, in addition to other tasks.
NASA’s long-term goal is to send a manned mission to Mars in the 2030s.