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Solar System Exploration
Deimos: Overview
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Color image of small, reddish Martian moon.
A small chunk of rock and debris, Deimos circles Mars every 30 hours.

Deimos is the smaller of Mars' two moons. Being only 15 by 12 by 11 km in size, Deimos whirls around Mars every 30 hours.

Like Phobos, Deimos is a small lumpy, heavily cratered object. Its craters are generally smaller than 2.5 km in diameter, however, and it lacks the grooves and ridges seen on Phobos. Typically when a meteorite hits a surface, surface material is thrown up and out of the resulting crater. The material usually falls back to the surface surrounding the crater. However, these ejecta deposits are not seen on Deimos, perhaps because the moon's gravity is so low that the ejecta escaped to space. Material does appear to have moved down slopes. Deimos also has a thick regolith, perhaps as deep as 100 m, formed as meteorites pulverized the surface.

Deimos is a dark body that appears to be composed of C-type surface materials, similar to that of asteroids found in the outer asteroid belt.

Phobos was discovered on 11 August 1877 by Asaph Hall.

How Deimos Got its Name:
Hall named Mars' moons for the mythological sons of Ares, the Greek counterpart of the Roman god, Mars. Deimos, whose name means dread, is the brother of Phobos.

Just the Facts
Orbit Size (semi-major axis):  23,458 km
Mean Radius:  6.2 km
Volume:  998 km3
Mass:  1,476,188,406,600,740 kg
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Last Updated: 6 Mar 2014