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Swift
2015-Nov-12, 03:17 PM
Apparently, breaking up is not hard to do.

From NASA.gov (http://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/phobos-is-falling-apart)


The long, shallow grooves lining the surface of Phobos are likely early signs of the structural failure that will ultimately destroy this moon of Mars.

Orbiting a mere 3,700 miles (6,000 kilometers) above the surface of Mars, Phobos is closer to its planet than any other moon in the solar system. Mars’ gravity is drawing in Phobos, the larger of its two moons, by about 6.6 feet (2 meters) every hundred years. Scientists expect the moon to be pulled apart in 30 to 50 million years.


And Laboratory Equipment magazine (http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2015/11/mars-moon-phobos-slowly-ripped-apart-gravity-nasa-says?et_cid=4937244&et_rid=54636800&type=image)

The lines along the surface of the Martian moon Phobos were long thought by astronomers to be cracks from an ancient impact.

But now NASA scientists say the lines are actually stretch marks – a sign of the strange “rubble pile” of a moon being slowly ripped apart by gravity, and barely holding together.

“We think that Phobos has already started to fail, and the first sign of this failure is the production of these grooves,” said Terry Hurford, a scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

DonM435
2015-Nov-12, 03:50 PM
So, would this result in Mars gaining a spectacular ring (or set of rings), or is Phobos too small to provide enough matter?

antoniseb
2015-Nov-12, 11:35 PM
So, would this result in Mars gaining a spectacular ring (or set of rings), or is Phobos too small to provide enough matter?
I don't know about spectacular, but it would be a ring. Personally, I think that humans will move Phobos to a more distant orbit before it actually breaks up.

publiusr
2015-Nov-13, 10:55 PM
Or that might be the most easily mined asteroid there is.

Metal--throw up--rock--throw down.

SilverRiver
2015-Nov-14, 03:39 PM
I don't know about spectacular, but it would be a ring. Personally, I think that humans will move Phobos to a more distant orbit before it actually breaks up.

Would this occur? Phobos isn't crashing into Mars any time soon from my understanding.

I suppose humans that last millions of years on Mars may see a good reason, but I know of no human civilization that has lasted a million years.

antoniseb
2015-Nov-16, 05:37 PM
Would this occur? Phobos isn't crashing into Mars any time soon from my understanding. I suppose humans that last millions of years on Mars may see a good reason, but I know of no human civilization that has lasted a million years.
I'm not taking a certain position on speculation like this. I think my guess is likely... probably likely within the next thousand years... or as publiusr suggests that it will be entirely repurposed into construction supplies and saleable goods before turning into a ring... or maybe your dark view that we won't survive long enough to do this will pan out. Who knows. I speculated about what I think is most likely, but only waiting a few millennea will tell who was right. I hope you're wrong on this, but that doesn't make you wrong.

Noclevername
2015-Nov-16, 05:45 PM
I suppose humans that last millions of years on Mars may see a good reason, but I know of no human civilization that has lasted a million years.

Yet.

Human lasting on Mars, if they do, may change through many civilizations. Not all endings are catastrophic.

George
2015-Nov-16, 10:35 PM
Why was I thinking Phobos was just inside its Roche limit? [I think it is 2x farther.] Is there a moon out there that is?

Surface dynamics may be a big issue for Buzz Aldrin's plan to use Phobos for a base. I like his thinking but this could raise some concerns, or will it?

Noclevername
2015-Nov-17, 12:24 AM
Surface dynamics may be a big issue for Buzz Aldrin's plan to use Phobos for a base. I like his thinking but this could raise some concerns, or will it?

What concerns? The surface is IIRC pretty much loose dust, but it lacks the gravity to make anything sink in.

George
2015-Nov-17, 03:35 PM
What concerns? The surface is IIRC pretty much loose dust, but it lacks the gravity to make anything sink in.
Why build a moon base on a moon undergoing "structural failure"? I don't know the extent of the risk, so it may or may not be any big deal.

grapes
2015-Nov-17, 05:54 PM
Why build a moon base on a moon undergoing "structural failure"? I don't know the extent of the risk, so it may or may not be any big deal.
Well we've gotten away with it for the past couple millennia, so maybe it's in our blood! :)

George
2015-Nov-18, 03:48 PM
Well we've gotten away with it for the past couple millennia, so maybe it's in our blood! :) :) Perhaps we should joint venture with JAXA to improve our chances. ;)

Noclevername
2015-Nov-20, 02:28 AM
Well we've gotten away with it for the past couple millennia, so maybe it's in our blood! :)

I'm afraid I don't get it. What have we been doing for 2000 years that is similar to building a moon base on Phobos?

John Mendenhall
2015-Nov-20, 06:00 AM
I'm afraid I don't get it. What have we been doing for 2000 years that is similar to building a moon base on Phobos?

Contiinental drift on Earth? Earthquakes?