The unusual shapes and colors of the tiny Martian satellites of Phobos and Deimos cause non-quiescent discussions about their origin.
The dark surfaces of these satellites resemble primitive asteroids from the outer part of the solar system, the so-called carbon class D asteroids, so some scientists believe that Phobos and Deimos are asteroids captured by the gravity of Mars many years ago. However, experts on the dynamics of orbits do not agree with them, who say that the shapes and slopes of the orbits of these satellites do not correspond to the scenario of the capture of asteroids.
A new look at 20-year-old scientific data gathered with the orbiting Mars mission of Mars Global Surveyor supports a version according to which the satellites of Mars formed as a result of the fall of a large celestial body onto the surface of the Red Planet, which resulted in the disposition of a large amount of debris rocks. A team of researchers, led by Tim Glotch, a geologist at the University of New York at Stony Brook, USA, in his new work shows in a series of laboratory experiments that the thermal radiation of Phobos recorded once in 1998 by the Mars Global Surveyor , close in spectral composition to the radiation emitted by the volcanic rocks of the surface of Mars and poorly coincides with the thermal radiation of samples of the meteorite D class, discovered near Lake Tagish, British Columbia, Canada.