The first collision was confirmed in September last year… Check out the 3 things you’ve missed before
The Mars geological probe ‘InSight’ has finally captured vibrations caused by meteorites that have penetrated the planet’s atmosphere and landed on the surface.
Mars is right next to the asteroid belt, where the solar system’s cosmic rocks are concentrated, and the atmosphere is only 1% the thickness of Earth, so many meteorites were expected to fall.
According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), seismograph records from InSight placed on the ‘Elysium Plain’ near the equator of Mars at the end of 2018 confirmed seismic waves and sound waves related to four meteorite impacts in 2020 and 2021.
This is the first time that the vibrations of a meteorite impact have been confirmed in the Insight seismograph records.
The meteorite impact occurred 85 to 290 km from the InSight landing site.
The first of these meteorites exploded as it entered the Martian atmosphere on 5 September last year and split into three or more pieces.
NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has found three craters in the estimated meteorite impact area based on seismic waves.
The fragmented meteorite may have created another crater, but it is believed to be small enough not to be captured by MRO’s high-resolution images.
“After three years of waiting, Insight has finally seen a beautiful crater,” said Dr Dauba, a crater expert on Mars.
The team took previous seismograph records and found additional meteorite impacts recorded on May 27, 2020, and on February 18, 2021, and August 31, 2021.
The InSight seismometer, built by the French National Center for Space Research (CNES), is sensitive enough to detect vibrations thousands of kilometers away, and has so far recorded more than 1,300 ‘marsquakes’ .
However, it is assumed that the reason why the vibration of a meteorite impact was not confirmed in time was because it was buried in other sounds such as wind noise.
The oscillation caused by the meteorite impact was found to be less than 2.0 magnitudes.
As the characteristics of meteorite impact vibrations have been confirmed, the research team expects to find more meteorite impacts in records before InSight.
Meteor impact records act as a solar system clock for estimating the timing of surface formation, with more craters indicating an older land. You can figure out what you did.
When meteorites break through the atmosphere and collide with the ground, they produce sound waves, which were also recorded by InSight.
On the other hand, the Insight is expected to act soon as the power charging performance deteriorates due to dust accumulation on the solar panel.