When visiting Mars in Destiny, players are treated to a gorgeous vista of flowing sand and shattered buildings, as well as a skybox filled with glittering stars and a close-up view of the moon, Phobos. In real life, Phobos doesn’t exist that close to Mars; however, Bungie have revealed that there are very specific reasons for it being incredibly close to Mars, and it may impact the story some way down the line.

During Bungie’s latest instalment of their Ride Along series, DeeJ took a stroll around Mars with World Artist Jason Sussman, Guardian Radio’s Craig Hardgrove, a planetary scientist who worked with NASA to put the Curiosity Rover on Mars (the real planet).

During the opening of the Ride Along (6:00), Sussman brings up Phobos, Mars’ moon, and its proximity to the red planet. He discusses Hardgrove’s first day coming in and looking at how Mars looked during the development cycle, and Hardgrove brought up that Phobos is far too close. Sussman countered by saying that they’re so close together for “fictional reasons”, and that it’s that close for a specific reason.

While Bungie didn’t reveal the reason, Hardgrove brought up some interesting facts about Phobos and its proximity to Mars in real life:

“Phobos is actually really close to Mars, it’s only 9,000 kilometres away from the surface of Mars… But Phobos is only about 14 miles across in diameter, so it’s really tiny… What’s really cool about Phobos is that because it’s so close, it gets closer and closer to Mars every year, and eventually, in about 50 million years, people think it’s gonna crash into the surface of Mars.”

In summary:

“One of the things that I said to you guys is one, one: it is close to the surface of Mars, and two: it will eventually crash into the surface of Mars.”

He then goes into the forces of gravity in Phobos tearing itself apart as it gets closer to the surface of Mars, and then, very interestingly, notes that if you observe Phobos in Destiny you can see the effects of Phobos beginning to tear itself apart – there is also notable debris floating around the moon.

Capping off the discussion, Sussman noted that:

“There really is a fictional reason, that I can’t elaborate on, is the reason why Phobos is much closer to the surface.”

This reason why is under wraps, and pure speculation at this point, but perhaps this reason includes the points that Hardgrove made in his discussion on Phobos’ relationship with Mars in real life: the future of Destiny may include Phobos crashing into – or at least somehow affecting – its parents planet, Mars.

It will be interesting to see how this information comes to fruition later in Destiny‘s life, or if it turns out simply to be lore-based.

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