Two huge meteorites crashed into Mars: craters with a diameter of more than 100 meters appeared (photo)
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Two spacecraft at once, one on the surface and the other in orbit of Mars, witnessed a catastrophic event.
The InSight lander and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter recorded the fall of the largest meteorites on Mars, as a result of which huge craters with a diameter of almost 150 meters formed on the surface, writes The Guardian.
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Scientists from NASA have presented a new report on the operation of two spacecraft on Mars, which states that for the entire time of observations on the Red Planet, they were able to record the fall of the largest meteorites.
The InSight spacecraft was able to capture huge seismic waves that swept thousands of kilometers from the impact site, and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter took pictures of impact craters from orbit.
The atmosphere of Mars is very thin, it is not like on Earth, where any meteorite basically burns up when it enters the atmosphere . On Mars, such space rocks, which are fragments of asteroids, can easily reach the surface.
According to scientists, two meteorites were from 5 to 12 meters in size, but as a result of the fall, both left craters on Mars with a diameter of almost 150 meters. The depth of these craters is estimated at about 20 meters. The fall of meteorites occurred approximately at a distance of 3.5 thousand km from the location of the InSight apparatus.
Orbital images show the impact scattered rock fragments up to 40 km near the craters, the scientists said. By the way, as a result of one of the impact events, large ice blocks formed around the crater, that is, stones from water ice.
These data once again confirm that future explorers of Mars will be able to use this ice to carry out research missions.
The InSight lander may have sent its most recent data back to Earth. Due to strong dust storms on Mars, its solar panels stopped generating enough energy, which ultimately led to a decrease in the efficiency of the device.
But over 4 years of his research, he was able to record more than 1300 quakes on Mars. According to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Bruce Benerdt, this spacecraft doesn't have long to live on Mars – one to two months.
“It will be terrible when we lose contact with InSight. But he sent so many scientific data that they will have to be studied for several more years,” says Benerdt.
According to scientists, there is still much to be learned about the internal structure of Mars and its seismic activity, because the planet still holds a lot of mysteries.< /p>
Focus already wrote that a dust storm the size of a continent appeared on Mars, which could just cause the InSight apparatus to stop working.
< p>As Focus already wrote, scientists still hope to detect microbial life on Mars. They believe that bacteria could survive in the extreme conditions of the planet. This proves the terrestrial organism, which could live on Mars for 280 million years.