At Tech21 we take pride in specialising in intelligent impact protection and love keeping tabs on the latest technological advancements and impact related news. Today we were intrigued to hear of NASA’s latest discovery of a fresh impact crater on Mars!
Impact in Space
An image sent all the way back to Earth from a NASA spacecraft, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) which circles around Mars, has revealed a fresh impact crater on the surface of the Red Planet.
The spacecraft has several devices attached to it, one of them being the HiRise camera which took the remarkable image. “HiRise”, or the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera, was used to examine the surface of the Red Planet because the MRO’s Context Camera told NASA that there had been a significant change in appearance on the surface of Mars. It cost $720 million to build the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter which was specifically designed and created to carry out military observation and exploration of the Red Planet and can reach remarkable speeds of up to 10,440km/h!
It's most likely that the crater was caused by a meteorite. When the meteorite hit the surface of the Red Planet with intense speed, it caused an explosion which lead to a large amount of debris being tossed as far as 10 kilometers. The scientific name for this debris is “ejecta”. The ejecta was punched out of the surface of Mars as a result of the collision which took place between meteorite and planet.
HiRise cam has measured in the crater at 100 feet in diameter, which is surrounded by a “rayed blast zone.” The image of the crater appears to be blue due to the removal of reddish Mars dust from the surface from the impact.
Studies carried out by NASA have indicated that around 200 craters are made a year on Mars which measure at least 3.9 metres in diameter, making this crater a particularly dramatic discovery!