Martian Moons Created by Catastrophic Collision, Says New Theory

Old theory had been that the misshapen, dark-colored moons were captured asteroids, new one is they’re ejected volcanic crust

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Phobos, the larger of Mars’ two tiny satellites, is the darkest moon in the solar system.
Phobos, the larger of Mars’ two tiny satellites, is the darkest moon in the solar system.Credit: G. Neukum (FU Berlin) et al./ Ma
Ruth Schuster
Ruth Schuster
The new study compared mid-infrared spectra from a chip from the Tagish Lake meteoroid whole (right) and ground-up (left) to spectra collected from Phobos by the Mars Global Explorer spacecraft in 1998
The new study compared mid-infrared spectra from a chip from the Tagish Lake meteoroid whole (right) and ground-up (left) to spectra collected from Phobos by the Mars Global Explorer spacecraft in 199Credit: AGU