Some of the mysterious grooves on the surface of Mars’ moon Phobos are the result of debris ejected by impacts eventually falling back onto the surface to form linear chains of craters, according to a new study.
One set of grooves on Phobos are thought to be stress fractures resulting from the tidal pull of Mars. The new study, published August 30 in Nature Communications, addresses another set of grooves that do not fit that explanation.
“These grooves cut across the tidal fields, so they require another mechanism. If we put the two together, we can explain most if not all of the grooves on Phobos,” said first author Michael Nayak, a graduate student in Earth and planetary sciences at UC Santa Cruz. [More at links]