NASA’s InSight lander has detected sounds from the impact of four rocks that will crash into Mars in 2020 and 2021. The impact occurred 85-290 kilometers away from the lander’s location.
The first of the four confirmed meteoroids — the term used for space rocks before they hit the ground — made the most dramatic entrance: it entered the Martian atmosphere on September 5, 2021 and exploded into at least three shards, each containing a crater. left behind….Then NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter flew over the estimated impact site to confirm the location. The orbiter used its black and white Context Camera to reveal three dark spots on the surface. After finding these spots, it has The orbiter’s team used the High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera, or HiRISE, to get a color close-up of the craters (the meteoroid could have left additional craters in the surface, but they would be too small to seen in HiRISE’s images), NASA said in a statement.
After sifting through previous data, scientists confirmed that three other effects had occurred on May 27, 2020, February 18, 2021, and August 31, 2021.
InSight’s seismometer has detected more than 1,300 Marsquakes.
The instrument, supplied by the French Space Agency, is so sensitive that it can detect seismic waves thousands of kilometers away.
“But the September 5, 2021 event marks the first time an impact has been confirmed as the cause of such waves,” NASA said.
The sound of a meteoroid hitting Mars — created from data captured by NASA’s InSight lander — is like a “bloop” due to a peculiar atmospheric effect.
The four meteoroid impacts confirmed so far created small quakes with a magnitude of no more than 2.0.
But the effects will be critical for refining Mars’ timeline.
“Impacts are the clocks of the solar system,” said the paper’s lead author Raphael Garcia. “We need to know today’s impact velocity to estimate the age of various surfaces.”
Scientists can estimate the age of a planet’s surface by counting its impact craters: the more they see, the older the surface.