Mars had rings like Saturn and a giant moon; a study has shown.
Even though Mars has two small moons, Phobos and Deimos, scientists in the SETI Institute and Purdue University believe that the red planet once had a giant moon.
The smaller of the two moons, Deimos, has an orbit that is titled by two levels, causing the researchers to question Mars’ past.
Matija Cuk, a researcher on the study, stated: “The simple fact that Deimos’s orbit is not just in the plane with Mars’s equator was considered unimportant, and nobody appeared to attempt and explain it. But when we had a big new idea, and we looked at it with new eyes, Deimos’s orbital tilt shown its big secret.”
The investigators suggest that Mars was able to have several Moons; however, these were destroyed over centuries by the planet’s rings.
Until the cycle repeated, Every time, the ring would then contribute to some new moon.
This could explain why Deimos orbits at a tilt – a moon could go away in the ring and Mars.
Meanwhile, the group also suggests that Mars once had a moon 20 times the size of Phobos around three billion decades ago.
This ‘grandparent’ moon was then followed by two more ring-moon cycles, with the most recent moon being Phobos that was born about 200 million years ago, according to the scientists.
They expect an impending mission could help to prove the theory while the researchers are to check the view.
The Japanese space agency (JAXA) plans to deliver a spacecraft into Phobos from 2024, collecting samples in the moon and bringing them back to Earth.
Ms Cuk explained: “I really do theoretical calculations for a dwelling, and they are Good, however getting them is and then tested against the world Even better.”