Strike Zone

Sometime between May 2003 and September 2007 an object hit the Martian atmosphere and broke up into small fragments that slammed into this plain, digging craters and blasting away dust from the surface. Scientists think that colliding pressure waves from two impacts of nearly identical size drew the straight line in the dust. This image shows an area a few hundred meters across. Meteors similar to the one that shattered here routinely cross the Earth’s path as well, but usually explode or burn away in our thicker atmosphere before they reach the surface.

Sent by: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter | From: Mars | Released: January, 2009 | Credit: NASA/JPL/UA | Image source


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At 1/100 of Earth’s atmospheric pressure would there even be enough friction to cause the meteor to incandesce ? Maybe we could ask whoever is throwing those impactors at Mars to attach a parachute to slow them down so the MRO can get a good picture.

BTW – I seem to remember that one of the first objects photographed by one of the rovers was thought to be a meteorite. Awesome!

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