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New evidence on the origin of Phobos' parallel grooves from HRSC Mars Express

New evidence on the origin of Phobos' parallel grooves from HRSC Mars Express

Publication date: 13 March 2006

Authors: Murray, J. et al.

Journal: 37th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference
Year: 2006

Abstract No. 2195

Of the many previous hypotheses concerning the origin of Phobos' grooves, most authorities agree that their formation is in some way connected with the creation of Stickney crater, at nearly 10 km diameter the largest crater on Phobos [1,2,3]. The principal argument for the Stickney association has been that the grooves form a pattern that is approximately radial to Stickney [1,2]. However, such hypotheses were based on incomplete mapping of the satellite, the largest poorly-imaged area being adjacent to Stickney's western rim. Much of the unknown region has now been imaged by HRSC, and we have assembled a new groove map from this and all other available imagery. The impression of grooves radial to Stickney can be seen to be an artefact of the previous coverage. East of Stickney this idea can be sustained, but west of it the pattern is tangential to the crater. The satellite-wide groove pattern can be seen to be centred not at Stickney, but at the leading apex of Phobos in its orbit (i.e. 90° long., 0° lat.). Groove orientations are quite independent of Stickney and bear no relation to it.

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