Does Mars have rings? Here’s What Scientists discovered about the past and future of Mars with Saturn-like rings around it

Mars is one of the most fascinating planets in the solar system that has captured the attention of Earthlings. In fact, the red planet is currently the most explored planet since we began our space program in the mid of 20th century. Based on our exploration, scientists have made numerous discoveries about the red planet, including its future. But does Mars have rings? How did scientists discover that the red planet once had rings in the past and again in the future? Can future Martians still survive on the red planet when it gets new rings in the future? Continue reading to find out.

Does Mars have rings?

If you get a telescope and observe the red planet, you will certainly not see any ring around it. However, the red planet has not always existed without rings. Scientists have recently discovered that Mars once has beautiful rings around its orbit in the past. They also believe that Mars rings may likely reappear in the future.

How scientists discovered that Mars once had rings in the Past and Again in the future

After an American astronomer Asaph Hall discovered two irregularly shaped moons, Deimos and Phobos around Mars in August 1877, scientists assumed that they were both captured asteroids. For centuries, scientists stick to this belief, until a recent discovery showed that both moons actually came into existence during Mars’ formation.

On June 2nd, 2020, researchers from SETI Institute and Purdue University revealed proof that Mars once had its own Saturn-like rings a few billion years ago. These scientists also suggested that the existence of ancient rings around the red planet made Mars’ smallest moon, Deimos inherit an oddly tilted orbit. Another study reveals that Mars’ biggest moon, Phobos occasionally creates a ring system around Mars every few billion of years.

Scientists further reveal that Phobos is currently pulled closer to Mars’ orbit and will even get much closer in a few billion years to come. When the bigger moon is closer to its host planet, gravity will take immediate action to scatter Phobos into smaller pieces and lock it closer to itself. The scattered Phobos materials will form a ring around Mars as gravity will not allow them to fly freely into space. Scientists further reveal that the ring system will later form into a moon again after many years. Researchers continued to study why Phobos undergoes such a process and discovered that this is a never-ending process throughout Mars’ history. This implies that the concept of the moon destroying itself and forming again has remained part of Mars’ history.

Can future Martians still survive on the red planet when it gets new rings in the future?

Currently, we have not witnessed Phobos being destroyed by Mars’ gravity to form a ring system. Hence, we cannot tell the impact of this event on the Martian surface. However, scientists at Purdue University believed that Phobos will split apart when it reaches the Roche limit to form a ring around Mars about 70 million years from now. In 70 million years into the future, many generations must have passed and humanity will have become a technologically advanced civilization living across the solar system and possibly in interstellar Space.

We must have developed technologically advanced colonies on both Mars’ surface and floating cities in low Mars Orbit. Currently, we cannot estimate how powerful human civilization will become to handle the devastating impact of asteroids or objects collision in space. But one thing is certain. Suppose we can successfully achieve the first Direct Asteroid redirection Test in a planetary defense test against asteroids in 2022.

In that case, future human civilization should be able to do more in the next 70 million years. The destruction of Phobos to form ring systems around Mars will surely disrupt the activities and inventions of future Martians. But with the sophisticated technologies being invented for planetary defense, future Martians will surely protect lives and their inventions from the devastating impact of this future astronomical event.

Conclusion

As Phobos continues to move closer to Mars, scientists have discovered that it will be ripped apart by Mars’ gravity to form a ring system around the red planet. However, this will likely happen in the next 70 million years. at this time, future Martians must have invented technologies to protect their inventions from the outcome of the impact.

Does Mars have rings? This article will answer this question and improve your knowledge about the existence of a ring system around Mars in the past and in the future. What do you think about Saturn-like rings forming around Mars in the next 70 million years?

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