The exciting discovery of the Omid orbiter: the smallest moon of Mars is probably not what it seems

Deimos, the smallest of the two moons Mars may actually be a fragment of its parent planet. This is the conclusion that the scientists of the United Arab Emirates reached thanks to the data of the Omid Mars Orbiter. Omid, as the first interplanetary spacecraft of the Emirates Entering Mars orbit in February 2021, it recently captured the best images ever recorded of Deimos.

Hasa al Matroshithe chief scientist of the Omid mission at the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center in Dubai, quoted by New York Times It says that the Emiratis have obtained the clearest images ever recorded of the smallest moon of Mars.

Mars has two irregularly shaped moons, neither of which are very large in size. As the largest moon, Phobos is approximately 27 km in diameter at its widest point and orbits the Red Planet at an altitude of nearly 6,000 km. At its largest, Deimos is only 14 km in diameter and completes its orbit around Mars every 30 hours from an altitude of almost 24,000 km.

The small size and strange dimensions of the moons of Mars have raised the hypothesis that they are probably asteroids that have been trapped by the planet’s gravity for a long time. However, researchers who are busy analyzing the data recorded by the Omid Orbiter reject this scenario.

The Omid orbiter was originally intended to study the atmosphere of Mars; But in 2023, by increasing the scope of its activity, the spacecraft has made a series of close flights by Deimos. In March, Omid approached the surface of the mini-moon of Mars to a height of about 96 km; A record that only NASA’s Viking 2 orbiter managed to break. In 1977, the NASA spacecraft reached a distance of approximately 30 km from the surface of Deimos; But his tools and cameras were much more primitive compared to Omid.

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