Mars is the darling of many planetary scientists, who continue to visit it through increasingly advanced robotic explorers. But don’t forget that our planetary neighbor is adorned with two moons: puny Phobos, a lumpy mass 17 miles across; and diminutive Deimos, just 9 miles long.

Their names in ancient Greek may mean “fear” and “dread,” but the aesthetics of these Lilliputian space potatoes inspire anything but.

They don’t look anywhere near as interesting as the volcanic or icy-ocean moons of Jupiter and Saturn, nor is their desolation as extreme or diverse as Earth’s moon. But that hasn’t stopped generations of planetary scientists from being eager to get a closer look at the ramshackle duo.

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