Precise mass determination and the nature of Phobos
Article first published online: 7 MAY 2010
Copyright 2010 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 37, Issue 9, May 2010
How to Cite
2010), Precise mass determination and the nature of Phobos, Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L09202, doi:10.1029/2009GL041829., , , , , , and (
- Issue published online: 7 MAY 2010
- Article first published online: 7 MAY 2010
- Manuscript Accepted: 22 MAR 2010
- Manuscript Revised: 8 MAR 2010
- Manuscript Received: 3 DEC 2009
- Mars Express
 We report independent results from two subgroups of the Mars Express Radio Science (MaRS) team who independently analyzed Mars Express (MEX) radio tracking data for the purpose of determining consistently the gravitational attraction of the moon Phobos on the MEX spacecraft, and hence the mass of Phobos. New values for the gravitational parameter (GM = 0.7127 ± 0.0021 × 10−3 km3/s2) and density of Phobos (1876 ± 20 kg/m3) provide meaningful new constraints on the corresponding range of the body's porosity (30% ± 5%), provide a basis for improved interpretation of the internal structure. We conclude that the interior of Phobos likely contains large voids. When applied to various hypotheses bearing on the origin of Phobos, these results are inconsistent with the proposition that Phobos is a captured asteroid.