The messy breakup between Mars and Phobos might have a happy ending. Following a study that claimed Phobos was falling apart due to Mars’s gravitational pull, a new report claims the moon could break up and form a ring around the planet once it breaks up. That’s unconditional love right there.
According to research published in Nature Geoscience, the rings will form quickly after Phobos breaks apart and could circle around Mars for up to 100 million years. Now that would make for quite the sight for Curiosity, which is currently sitting pretty on the Red Planet. But don’t expect Phobos to crumble anytime soon—scientists predict the moon’s destruction probably won’t happen for another 30 million to 50 million years from now.
The mass of Mars’s rings won’t be quite as impressive as Saturn’s, but it’ll no doubt provide a pretty spectacular show. Scientists believe once Phobos does break apart, it’ll form a pretty dense ring around Mars, until finally that, too, will break apart.
Considering the barren desolate landscape of Mars now, it’s sure one of the more exciting planets. Not only does it possibly have slushy water beneath the surface, but it may have been a wet, warm planet. Thanks to solar winds, however, its atmosphere is pretty much shot to hell. Now it might get rings!
Sadly, none of us will be around to actually witness the marriage between Mars and Phobos. But it’s a nice, romantic thought. Even the cold, dying universe still has a heart.