Phobos to put a ring on Mars, proper Beyonce style

Mars closest moon, Phobos, is about to crash into the planet's atmosphere, creating a ring around it in the process. Phobos currently orbits Mars at around 3,700 miles above the planet's surface. It's currently on its way inward – eventually it'll start to break apart. The sad news is, we won't be able to see this crash happen. The good news is, we won't be around to see any potential ill effects. This ring-making will take place in between 20 to 40 million years from now.

The image above is made from a combination of an illustration of future Mars (with a ring on it) as illustrated by Tushar Mittal, and a photo taken by Terry Richardson. In this new conglomeration you'll see what we must assume is Beyonce's appreciation for Phobos and Mars, as the former liked it, so it puts a ring on it.

Phobos is the larger of Mars' two "moonlets" – moons "small" in size – smaller than our moon, that is to say. Researchers this week suggest that the ring that'll be formed by Phobos will persist between 10^6 and 10^8 years and be similar in mass (at first) to that of Saturn's rings.

Researchers from Berkeley have submitted a paper which has become public this week, suggesting that future missions to Phobos are in order.

We'll hopefully be traveling to Phobos within the next hundred years to study the moon, detecting what might be done as the planetary body moves closer and closer to its much larger cohort, Mars.

You can learn more about this subject in the paper "The demise of Phobos and development of a Martian ring system" as published this week in Natural Geoscience. The paper is authored by Benjamin A Black and Tushar Mittal (also the illustrator behind the pictures of Mars in this article), under code DOI: 10.1038/NGEO2583.

And just to be safe, here's Beyonce's Single Ladies music video so everyone understands why she approves (or we can assume she approves) of Mars' future ring.