Largest meteor hits on the Red Planet are discovered by two Martian spacecraft.
The enormous new crater on the surface of the planet was found by both the InSight lander and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
A spaceship flying over the globe and a probe with its ears linked to the surface have teamed up to try to uncover the mystery of the biggest meteor crash on Mars. The enormous new crater on the surface of the planet was found by both the InSight lander and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
The investigation was launched when the InSight lander, which is on Mars to learn more about the churnings occurring underneath the surface, reported a magnitude 4 marsquake on Christmas eve of last year. Analysis revealed that the dramatic increase in the seismic data was caused by a meteoroid strike, which is one of the biggest to have hit Mars since NASA began astronomical exploration.
Last year's high-speed barrages tore out craters with a diameter of approximately 500 feet and sent seismic waves, the first ever discovered near the surface of another planet, rippling thousands of kilometres across Mars. The journal Science published the findings. The crater was formed by a meteor that was 16 to 39 feet tall.
The meteor was too small to burn up in the Earth's atmosphere, but it would have in Mars' atmosphere, which is only 1% as dense as that of our planet. Debris being ejected from the accident is visible in images of the crater, which is around 70 feet deep and where the collision took place in the region known as Amazonis Planitia.
Liliya Posiolova, a co-author from Malin Space Science Systems in San Diego, said that being able to correlate the seismic ripples with the crater photos was a bonus. Imaging the craters 'would have been huge already.' This is thought to be one of the largest craters ever recorded developing anywhere in the solar system, and we were very blessed to have photos and seismic data capturing the occurrence. On the Red Planet, there are other larger craters, but they are much older and predate any Mars missions.
'It is amazing to find a new impact of this scale. Ingrid Daubar of Brown University, who is in charge of InSight's Impact Science Working Group, stated in a statement: 'We had the opportunity to observe this amazing period in geologic history. A different study conducted last month linked a recent spate of smaller Martian meteoroid strikes with smaller craters closer to InSight using data from the same lander and orbiter.
Due to dwindling power and dust storms covering its solar panels, InSight is approaching the end of its mission when the impact observations take place. With over 1,300 marsquakes now recorded, InSight, a spacecraft that landed on Mars' equatorial plains in 2018, is the first to do so.