Phobos is the larger of Mars’ two moons, and orbits closer than Mars’ other moon Deimos. Both moons were discovered by American astronomer Asaph Hall in 1877. Phobos is a small, irregularly shaped rocky body and is named after the Greek god Phobos, the son of Ares and Aphrodite. Phobos was viewed as the personification of horror by the ancient Greeks.
Images and models of the moon suggest that Phobos may be a pile of rubble held together by a thin crust. It also appears to be in the process of being torn apart by tidal interactions. Phobos moves 2m closer to Mars every 100 years, leading us to the prediction that in 30 to 50 million years it will either collide with the planet or break up and form a planetary ring.
This desk sculpture pays tribute to this moon and the mythical figure after which it is named.