Mars’ biggest moon Phobos is reportedly dying and it may leave behind a parting gift before it dies. Scientists claim that Phobos is gradually closing in on its parent Mars and will eventually break apart. They predict that this will create a debris ring, just like Saturn encircling the planet for millions of years. However, the entire process may take up to 20-40 million years to complete. Of course several Twitter users couldn’t help but react to this surprising revelation.

According to a report from Nature Geoscience, a study titled "The demise of Phobos and development of a Martian ring system," by Benjamin A. Black and Tushar Mittal, Phobos’ orbit is spiralling towards Mars and because of this, there will be an increase in the tidal stresses it will experience. This will eventually cause Phobos to break apart or form a ring around Mars. Black and Mittal are scientists from the University of California, Berkeley. They evaluated these possible outcomes using a geotechnical model as well as spectral, theoretical and geologic constraints.

Mittal and Black also calculate that the debris ring Phobos might create around Mars would last about one to 100 million years before descending to the surface, according to another Nature Geoscience report.

Independent reports that Phobos is being closely watched by scientists who found out that that the big moon is getting closer by 1.8 cm. to Mars every year. This means that in 20-70 million years, Phobos will start touching Mars’ atmosphere, depending on the conditions in space. If it doesn’t break up, it might also slam into Mars.

Dr. Terry Anthony Hurford of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Space Flight Center, also spoke about Phobos.

“We think that Phobos has already started to fail, and the first sign of this failure is the production of these grooves,” Hurford said in a report from NASA.

Hub Of The Universe’s Twitter account was very creative in its reaction about Phobos and Mars.

As for Edison’s Secret Lab’s Twitter account, the shock was evident.

Meanwhile, Twitter user @CruzWhobris kept his reaction short and simple.

Source: YouTube/ Interesting Facts

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