Mars’ Tiny-Looking Moon Is Slowly Crash-Landing on the Planet

Mars’ moon Phobos may look small in the sky, but it won’t for long

Phobos
Phobos Wikimedia Commons

This is Mars’ moon Phobos, arcing through the Martian sky as seen by the Curiosity rover. It’s tiny, right?

Phobos, the moon, is pretty small to begin with—it’s just 14 miles across. Even knowing that, though, it looks pretty teeny.

But Phobos is going to start looking bigger in the red planet’s sky. And bigger. And bigger. Phobos is inching its way toward Mars at a clip of six feet each century. That’s in contrast to our Moon, which is crawling away from Earth. In a few dozen million years, Phobos will be no more. It’ll either crash land in to Mars, says Space.com, “or be torn into rubble and scattered as a ring” around the planet.

More from Smithsonian.com:

A Solar Eclipse, As Seen From the Surface of Mars
Phobos, A Martian Moon