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Artwork of a ring around Mars

Artwork of a ring around Mars

F017/2680

Royalty Free

61.1 MB (972.5 KB compressed)

3722 x 5738 pixels

31.5 x 48.5 cm ⏐ 12.4 x 19.1 in (300dpi)

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Credit

MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Phobos, the innermost satellite of Mars, is doomed. It orbit so close to its parent planet that one day, scientists predict, tidal forces on the tiny moon will begin to rip it apart. The outermost layer will probably be stripped away first, creating a dusty ring in a very short time scale a month or even less. The moon could last for tens of millions of years, before it eventually fragments, bit by bit, and accretes onto the surface of Mars. But this won't happen in our lifetime and probably not for 20 to 40 million more years.

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