Do you have Phobos Phobia?

Don't Panic!

Don't Panic!

Do you have an irrational and overwhelming fear of Phobos smashing into Mars? You may not be alone… [0:25m]

Listen here:

What’s the facts?

Phobos is one of two irregularly shaped moons in orbit around Mars; the other is named Deimos.  Phobos orbits once every 7 1/2 hours around Mars at a height of only 9377 kilometers (about 5800 miles) above the surface of Mars. In comparison, the Moon orbits once every 27 days at a height of 385,000 kilometers (about 239,000 miles).  So Phobos is 40 times closer to Mars than the Moon is to the Earth, which might make a Martian claustrophobic!  Incidentally, the name Phobos comes from the Greek god of fear!

Original air date 19 June 2009.

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