10.3.09

Small Potato (Martian)

Image source with more information
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

Deimos, the smaller of Mars' two moons, doesn't get nearly enough love, it has to be said. Time, then, for Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to turn its amazingly powerful camera on this little rock and show it to us in unprecedented detail.

Deimos is also the better behaved moon. Phobos (which MRO photographed last year), orbiting Mars fast and close, is expected to break up in the Martian atmosphere within the next hundred million years.

7 comments:

Zhoen said...

Definitely not Idaho potatoes.

Geosomin said...

So help me, when I read this, All I could think of was < a href="http://www.weebls-stuff.com/toons/Potato/
">this< / a >...

Geosomin said...

ER...yeah.
This:

http://www.weebls-stuff.com/toons/Potato/

Bobby said...

I saw this show where these astronomers built this machine which was the equivalent of a massive BB gun. It shot a metal pellet -like- way faster than a normal gun could. I mean, this thing was the size of a freakin tractor. So they shot a pellet into a bowl of sand - to simulate a meteor strike and crater formation. Pow! I guess they collected all kinds of data and stuff.

diddums said...

What a funny little thing. :-) (The moon).

Michelle said...

I had no idea that they could be shaped like that. I thought they were always round.

Pacian said...

In our solar system at least, most moons are irregular in shape. Saturn has plenty of potato moons (Pandora for example).

Worlds (moons, planets, asteroids, dwarf planets) become round when they're big enough that their own gravity smooths out any big bumps on their surface. So any sufficiently small moon will be elongated and lumpy.

Small here means really small in astronomical terms. Enceladus is only 500 km across, and it's round as a golf ball.