Basic Astronomy

Moons of Mars


Mars has two known moons, Phobos and Deimos. Both of these satellites were discovered by Asaph Hall in 1877.

They are named after Greek mythological characters Phobos (panic/fear) and Deimos (terror/dread) who, accompanied their father Ares, god of war, into battle. For Romans, Ares was known as Mars.

Scientists believes that both of these moons were asteroid in past and they were captured by Mars gravitational field.

Phobos Deimos
Phobos Deimos
NameImageMass (kg)DiameterSemi-major axisOrbital periodAverage moonrise period
PhobosPhobos10.8×1015(27×21.6×18.8) km9,377 km (5,827 mi)7.66 h11.12 h (0.463 d)
DeimosDeimos2×1015(10×12×16) km23,460 km (14,580 mi)30.35 h131 h (5.44 d)

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