Guide to Space

How many moons does Mars have?

Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun. It appears to be red and is sometimes referred to as the ‘Red Planet’. Mars is also the second smallest planet in the solar system. Mars is approximately half the size of planet Earth. So how many moons does Mars have? This planet has two moons, and they have names; Deimos and Phobos. In 1877, the moons were discovered by someone called Asaph Hall at the Naval Observatory in Washington D.C.

This planet has two moons, and they have names; Deimos and Phobos.

Phobos may collide with Mars

Phobos is the larger of the two moons. It orbits closer to planet Mars than Deimos, and is said to go around Mars three times in 24 hours. What a phenomenon! Scientists seem to believe that in the future, millions of years ahead of our time, Phobos may collide with Mars because of it’s proximity to the planet while orbiting. This moon has a strange shape, very unlike the spherical shaped moon that we see orbiting Earth.

Phobos, moons of mars
Phobos is the larger of the two moons.

Deimos is smaller than Phobos and orbits further away from planet Mars. Like Phobos, Deimos also has a strange and irregular shape. It is also categorized as one of the smallest moons in the entire solar system. Isn’t that amazing? Deimos has much less craters than Phobos. It appears to have a much smoother surface. Whilst scientists are concerned about Phobos colliding with Mars, it is suspected that Deimos is located so far away from the planet that it might just drift away eventually.

Named after Greek gods

Phobos and Deimos were named after Greek gods. According the Greek mythology, Ares and Aphrodite had twin sons named Phobos and Deimos. It is said that these gods’ personality was such that they instilled fear and terror in those around them. In Greek, the word ‘phobos’ means fear.

In conclusion, the answer to the main question is that Mars has two moons. There is a question of how long these two moons will continue to exist but at present, Mars has only two moons: Phobos and Deimos.

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