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Thread: phobos

  1. #1 phobos 
    Forum Freshman electricant's Avatar
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    I read an interesting fact today that I wasn't previously aware of:

    Phobos, the innermost of the martian moons, is spiralling ever closer to the surface of mars at a rate of 18 cm a year. This means that in 40 Million years (give or take a few weeks :wink: ) phobos will crash into the surface of mars.

    This I imagine will be a particularly spectacular event but it got me thinking of future human habitation of Mars. Surely this would be a global-extinction level event. Do you think its too late to call off the terra-forming?!?!?


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  3. #2  
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    No, it should break up due to tidal forces before reaching the atmosphere.

    Quote Originally Posted by electrant
    Do you think its too late to call off the terra-forming?!?!?
    Are you trying to be funny?


    "It is comparatively easy to make clever guesses; indeed there are theorems, like 'Goldbach's Theorem' which have never been proved and which any fool could have guessed." G.H. Hardy, Fourier Series, 1943
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  4. #3  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silas
    No, it should break up due to tidal forces before reaching the atmosphere.
    In which case, instead of a single large impact, there will be several large impacts.
    Step up. Get your ringside seats now.
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  5. #4  
    Forum Freshman electricant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silas
    No, it should break up due to tidal forces before reaching the atmosphere.
    Is Phobos even large enough to be torn apart by tidal forces? Also is the martian atmosphere thick enough to incinerate phobos as its orbits get lower? I know Phobos orbits particularly fast.

    Either way I'd guess that the event would pose a significant threat to human habitation if Mars
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  6. #5  
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    Surely whether it breaks up or not is dependant on it's constitution, and the gravitational force of Mars? - If it is rock and Ice loosely bound it would[break up], but because it has one Huge crater [where impact did not break it up] this might indicate it is made of sterner stuff. Or am I wrong?

    It's too big to burn up. It'll be a helluva crunch though!
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  7. #6  
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    as if we wont be already be extinct in 40 million years
    No man was ever wise by chance.
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by supernova006
    as if we wont be already be extinct in 40 million years

    If you and others like you keep using up the earth's resources like that, 40 years would be closer to it!
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