The Mysterious Moons of Mars

As you may recollect from school days, Ares was the ancient Greek god of war, later merged with the more personable Roman god known as Mars. While astronomers of yesteryear was finding and cataloging moons around Jupiter and Saturn, the moons of Mars were not discovered until the 19th century.

Speculations and fantasies about life on Mars were increased by the so-called mysterious moons. In reality, these moons testify of recent creation and against cosmic evolution.
Credits: Mars and Moons from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
Art gallery effect by PhotoFunia
The discoverer named the Martian moons Phobos and Deimos (basically, fear and terror) after two sons of Ares in a blending of mythologies. Then the speculations started. Why weren't the moons discovered until comparatively recently? Could be that people just weren't looking in the right place. Some thought that since Mars may be inhabited, the Martians built the moons and placed them there.

Let's ride on this fun side trail for a spell. Percival Lowell was convinced (as were others) that Mars had canals, which had to be built by intelligent beings. In the late 1890s, Herbert G. Wells wrote his famous Martian invasion novel, The War of the Worlds. E.R. Burroughs began his Barsoom (the name the inhabitants gave to Mars) novels in the early 20th century, with Thuria (Phobos) and Cluros (Deimos) having inhabitants of their own. Clive Staples Lewis wrote Out of the Silent Planet in 1938. It was a mix of theology and science fiction, and Mars was called Malacandra. I think mayhaps the discovery of the Martian moons helped fuel the pop culture of those years.

Secular scientists are still trying to find and justify the existence of life on Mars (millions of dollars wasted to support evolution and deep time that could have been better spend right here). For that matter, the Phobos 2 probe of 1989 was thought by UFO enthusiasts to have encountered something alien, possibly leading to the probe's demise.

Phobos and Deimos are just rocks orbiting Mars. They are "mysterious" because of secular presuppositions and the numerous failed models for the origin of the solar system. Indeed, these and other celestial bodies give silent testimony for recent creation and against cosmic evolution, pilgrim.
It wasn’t until 1877 that the two moons of Mars were discovered.

American astronomer Asaph Hall, acting on suspicions that Mars had at least one moon, had conducted a night-by-night methodical search using the telescope facility at the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C. Frustrated at not finding anything, he was about to give up but his wife Angelina urged him to continue. The following night, 12 August, he discovered Deimos, closer in to the red planet than anyone had thought of looking before, orbiting just 23,000 km away.

(By way of comparison, our Moon is about 384,000 km from Earth.) Six nights later, Hall discovered Phobos, even closer in—only about 9,000 km from Mars.

. . .

Over the next century, as more information came to light about the two Martian moons, there was much to fascinate astronomers. Phobos is about 22 km in diameter, while potato-shaped Deimos is even smaller, being about 12 km across at most. While our Moon takes a leisurely month to orbit the Earth, Deimos takes about 30 hours to go around Mars, in a nearly perfectly circular orbit around its equator. Meanwhile the remarkable Phobos goes around Mars in only eight hours, i.e. about three times per Martian day. Being faster than the red planet’s rotation, Phobos would appear to an observer on Mars to rise in the west and set in the east, with that moon passing through all its phases in a few hours.

The biggest puzzle in the minds of many cosmologists, however, concerns theories about the formation of the moons.
To read the entire article,  click on "Mars moons mystery — How did Phobos and Deimos get to where they are?"

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