An abnormal channels on Phobos, one of the two satellites of Mars, was the result of a fall on the surface of this celestial body fragments of his own breed, previously trapped in space under the influence of tidal forces. To such conclusion the group of geophysicists, who presented his research on the pages of the scientific journal Nature Communications.
Tidal forces occur when the free motion of two bodies in a nonuniform field of force, that is, for example, when the gravitational interaction between the planets and their satellites. On earth, the most visible manifestation of this interaction are tides, causing tidal power and got its name. Recently, experts have also found that the position of the moon is also somewhat affects the strength of earthquakes in California.
However, Phobos, is located very close to Mars and continuing to approach him, much stronger than “feeling” the impact of tidal force than the Moon or Earth. It was already known that some of the channels on the satellite appeared due to the deformation of the surface of Phobos, under the influence of these destructive forces. However, a new study has shown that the emergence of other channels, the origin of which has hitherto been a mystery, also indirectly owe their existence precisely to tidal forces. According to the data obtained in result of computer simulation, some rock fragments, taken out from the planet under the influence of tidal forces, subsequently again fell on her, and this was the cause of the channels of the second type.
Every century Phobos and Mars are getting closer to each other by about two meters. Recently, another team of researchers has obtained new evidence that the satellite in the future will be close to Mars so that it will be destroyed under the influence of tidal forces, after which the pieces or form a kind of ring around the planet or fall on it. During the same study it was suggested that in the past the red planet had three moons, but the largest and most massive of them fell on it for a long time. The only satellite, which is falling on Mars are not threatened even in a relatively distant future, remains Deimos — it rotates in a stable orbit and is at a great distance from the planet.