Mars gets hit by hundreds of basketball-size space rocks every year

by | Jun 29, 2024 | Science

Sign up for CNN’s Wonder Theory science newsletter. Explore the universe with news on fascinating discoveries, scientific advancements and more.Hundreds of basketball-size space rocks slam into Mars each year, leaving behind impact craters and causing rumblings across the red planet, according to new research.Mission planners could use the revelations, recorded in data collected by a now-retired NASA mission, as they determine where to land future robotic missions as well as astronaut crews on the red planet.NASA’s InSight mission ended when the stationary lander lost a battle to an accumulation of Martian dust on its solar panels in December 2022, but the wealth of data the spacecraft collected is still fueling new research.The lander carried the first seismometer to Mars, and the sensitive instrument was able to detect seismic waves that occurred thousands of miles away from InSight’s location in Elysium Planitia, a smooth plain just north of the planet’s equator.During its time on Mars, InSight used its seismometer to detect more than 1,300 marsquakes, which take place when the Martian subsurface cracks due to pressure and heat.But InSight also captured evidence of meteoroids as they crashed into Mars.Meteoroids are space rocks that have broken away from larger rocky bodies and range in size from dust grains to small asteroids, according to NASA. Known as meteoroids while still in space, they are termed meteors as they streak through the atmosphere of Earth or other planets. NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured an image of a meteoroid impact that was later associated with a seismic event detected by the agency’s InSight lander. This crater was formed on May 27, 2020. – NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of ArizonaScientists have questioned why more impacts haven’t been detected on Mars because the planet is located next to our solar system’s main asteroid belt, where many space rocks emerge to hit the Marti …

Article Attribution | Read More at Article Source

[mwai_chat context=”Let’s have a discussion about this article:nnSign up for CNN’s Wonder Theory science newsletter. Explore the universe with news on fascinating discoveries, scientific advancements and more.Hundreds of basketball-size space rocks slam into Mars each year, leaving behind impact craters and causing rumblings across the red planet, according to new research.Mission planners could use the revelations, recorded in data collected by a now-retired NASA mission, as they determine where to land future robotic missions as well as astronaut crews on the red planet.NASA’s InSight mission ended when the stationary lander lost a battle to an accumulation of Martian dust on its solar panels in December 2022, but the wealth of data the spacecraft collected is still fueling new research.The lander carried the first seismometer to Mars, and the sensitive instrument was able to detect seismic waves that occurred thousands of miles away from InSight’s location in Elysium Planitia, a smooth plain just north of the planet’s equator.During its time on Mars, InSight used its seismometer to detect more than 1,300 marsquakes, which take place when the Martian subsurface cracks due to pressure and heat.But InSight also captured evidence of meteoroids as they crashed into Mars.Meteoroids are space rocks that have broken away from larger rocky bodies and range in size from dust grains to small asteroids, according to NASA. Known as meteoroids while still in space, they are termed meteors as they streak through the atmosphere of Earth or other planets. NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured an image of a meteoroid impact that was later associated with a seismic event detected by the agency’s InSight lander. This crater was formed on May 27, 2020. – NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of ArizonaScientists have questioned why more impacts haven’t been detected on Mars because the planet is located next to our solar system’s main asteroid belt, where many space rocks emerge to hit the Marti …nnDiscussion:nn” ai_name=”RocketNews AI: ” start_sentence=”Can I tell you more about this article?” text_input_placeholder=”Type ‘Yes'”]
Share This