[FPSPACE] Origin of Martian Moons from Binary Asteroid Dissociation
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Sat Mar 28 13:09:56 EDT 2009
Origin of Martian Moons from Binary Asteroid Dissociation
Authors: Geoffrey A. Landis
(Submitted on 19 Mar 2009)
Abstract: The origin of the Martian moons Deimos and Phobos is controversial. One hypothesis for their origin is that they are captured asteroids, but the mechanism requires an extremely dense martian atmosphere, and the mechanism by which an asteroid in solar orbit could shed sufficient orbital energy to be captured into Mars orbit has not been well elucidated.
Since the discovery by the space probe Galileo that the asteroid Ida has a moon "Dactyl", a significant number of asteroids have been discovered to have smaller asteroids in orbit about them. The existence of asteroid moons provides a mechanism for the capture of the Martian moons (and the small moons of the outer planets).
When a binary asteroid makes a close approach to a planet, tidal forces can strip the moon from the asteroid. Depending on the phasing, the asteroid can then be captured. Clearly, the same process can be used to explain the origin of any of the small moons in the solar system.
Comments: Paper AAAS - 57725, American Association for Advancement of Science Annual Meeting February 14-19, 2002, Boston MA
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as: arXiv:0903.3434v1 [astro-ph.EP]
From: Geoffrey Landis [view email]
[v1] Thu, 19 Mar 2009 22:40:42 GMT (1184kb)
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