NASA Took Pictures of a Martian Crater Caused by an Asteroid Impact

Various phenomena seen from Earth have also been observed from Mars, such as meteors and auroras. In March 2005, a meteor collided with Marts, leaving behind a crater. NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter took pictures of the crater created by the meteorite impact from a 260.1 km above the surface of Mars.

From the pictures showing blue color surrounding the crater, the scientists determined that it is a sign of basaltic rock. The meteorite impact caused the crater and the eruption of hidden layers. This eruption rapidly cooled in an ejecta blanket of basaltic rock. It’s the usual course of such an impact: meteorite collision, crater, ejecta blanket, and rays.

The rays are the radial lines that spread out from the crater. They fade with time, due to natural erosion. The crater photographed by NASA’s spacecraft tells the story of a young crater, as the rays are still visible.

Pictures of a Martian Crater Caused by an Asteroid Impact Snapped By NASA

Compared to Earth, the atmosphere of Mars is quite rarefied. This might change a little the appearance of a falling star. Mars lost its magnetosphere 4 billion years ago. The numerous asteroid strikes might be the reason why. This makes the solar wind interact directly with the Martian ionosphere, thus lowering the atmospheric density.

A meteorite is a solid piece of debris from a comet, asteroid, or meteoroid that originated in outer space. It represents the third phase of the collision: the remains found on the ground. When the original object enters the atmosphere, friction, pressure, and chemical interactions with the atmospheric gases cause it to heat up and radiate energy. At this point, it is has become a meteor.

The fireball it forms got him the name of shooting star or falling star. Astronomers call the brightest examples “bolides.” Once it settles on the larger body’s surface, the meteor becomes a meteorite. Meteorites vary significantly in size. For geologists, a bolide is a meteorite large enough to create an impact crater. It looks like the meteorite from Mars is a bolide.

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