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Published:June 15th, 2017 09:15 EST
Is it True The Red Planet Mars Has Rings?

Is it True The Red Planet Mars Has Rings?

By Ron G Anselm

"The thought of rings that once may have surrounded Mars` outer body like a mother cradling her new born baby is as mysterious of a thought as what we will see next on the nightly news in this crazy world we now live in."

The thesis statement above is a very true statement except the part "you may see them again" only used in hypothetical terms. According to a new theory by Purdue University scientists and their NASA research, Phoebe the moon that hangs over the Martian landscape and lights up the red planet as bright as New York City at midnight may have had debris created by a rogue asteroid that pushed debris into space and then slammed into mars may have created rings around the red planet and those rings may have eventually became Mars` Phoebe moon.

Andrew Hesselbrock who is a doctoral student in physics and astronomy suggested, "That large impact would have blasted enough material off the surface of Mars to form a ring," (Hasselbrock, A.) So, the powerful impact of the asteroid and debris slamming into the surface of Mars would have been powerful enough to blow dust and debris off the surface of Mars and create a ring.

The other model created by Hasselbrock and David Minton who is an assistant professor of Earth, atmospheric and planetary sciences, also suggest once the impact of the asteroid that created dust and debris around Mars and formed a ring settled, slowly moved away from Mars and spread out and began to clump probably like your Cats litter does after he or she does its business in that large and smelly litter box and has the dust and debris clumped it eventually formed a moon.

So, what would have happened with this hypothesis is over time the gravitational pull from Mars would have pulled the newly formed moon towards the red planet until it reached what is known in science as the Roche limit which is a planets tidal forces in this case Mars` tidal forces which will break apart a celestial body that is held together only by gravity.

The rest of this theory suggests that Phoebe is now getting closer to Mars and delving into the Roche limit which in about seventy-million years will reach the Roche limit and beyond, break apart from Mars` tidal forces and re-from into rings again around Mars as originally happened 4.3 billion years ago. This is what I meant above in my thesis statement by "you may see them again" in hypothetical terms. I doubt you and I will see the rings of Mars again is the above theory come true because I sure don`t plan to still be alive in seventy-million years, I don`t think, Hmmmm.

To add more to the this theory by Hasselbrock and Minton, this process of the moons of Mars entering the Roche limit, breaking apart, becoming debris and dust, forming rings around Mars may have happened between three and seven times over billions of years. And each time a moon broke apart and reformed again each time it reformed would have been about five times smaller than the last moon. Also, the debris from the breaking apart moon would have rained down on the surface of Mars which would possibly explain the enigmatic sedimentary deposits found near Mars` equator.

David Minton went on to say, "You could have had kilometer-thick piles of moon sediment raining down on Mars in the early parts of the planet`s history, and there are enigmatic sedimentary deposits on Mars with no explanation as to how they got there and now it`s possible to study that material." (Minton, D.)

Other theories than the one above suggest other hypothesis on how Phoebe formed but none of those theories are thought to be as accurate as the theory above. Mars is a very interesting and mysterious planetary body to scientist and NASA. The research is ongoing and lots more interesting facts to come in the future.


Does Mars have rings? Not right now, but maybe one day, Purdue University, March 21, 2017. Science Daily, Your source for the latest research news, ( Retrieved May 28, 2017.