NASA’s InSight probe heard the sound of a meteor hitting the surface of Mars

NASA's InSight probe has for the first time managed to hear the sound of a meteor hitting the surface of Mars. NASA’s InSight probe heard the sound of a meteor hitting the surface of Mars

NASA's InSight probe has for the first time managed to hear the sound of a meteor hitting the surface of Mars.

Although space rocks have hit The surface of Mars was small, but InSight is sensitive enough to pick up seismic waves from the impact from 290 kilometers away, and now NASA has released the sound from the impact.

Like Mars, The Earth's atmosphere also experiences a continuous bombardment of all kinds of space objects from sand-sized grains to large rocks that can create spectacular displays in the night sky, but only the larger objects hit the surface instead of burning up completely. p>

The presence of a much thinner atmosphere on Mars makes it possible for more objects to hit the surface, and direct knowledge of such an event and actually detecting it, provides a lot of information to scientists. Something that, despite decades of exploration by landers and rovers, had never been done before, and none had felt the seismic waves caused by a space rock hitting the planet.

This site has been on Mars since 2018, But the first time scientists noticed the seismic waves caused by the collision was after a collision event on September 5, 2021 (14 September 1400). An event whose study results have now been reported in the journal "Nature Geoscience". Mars Reconnaissance (MRO) shows not one, but three dark spots created by fragments of this space object. "It was very exciting. My favorite images are the craters themselves. After three years of waiting to catch an impact, it's nice to see craters like this.

He and his colleagues also searched further by determining that INSight was capable of detecting seismic waves from meteor impacts, and then From a re-examination of the probe's previous data, they identified three smaller events from 2020 and 2021. Each of these seismic waves was smaller than a magnitude 2.0 Martian earthquake.

In three cases, the probe also picked up sound waves of space mass passing through the atmosphere. Perhaps coincidentally, it was a discovery just five days before the collision that first caught their attention.

These craters are of more than aesthetic appeal to planetary scientists. "Knowing the exact location of the impact will help calibrate all the other mission data and confirm our estimates of the impact's location and size," said Deuber. Identify the future more accurately. By identifying this collision event, Dobar and his colleagues were actually surprised that similar events had not been detected in the past. NASA’s InSight probe heard the sound of a meteor hitting the surface of Mars

Impact craters detected by NASA's InSight rover
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

Mars is closer to the asteroid belt and Also, the smaller size compared to the Earth should face more such objects. Previous Mars landers may not have been sensitive enough to record such collisions, but this site has so far detected 1,300 Martian earthquakes, even though the Red Planet is less seismically active than our planet.

Now researchers suspect They suggest that the site may have actually received seismic waves from meteorite impacts before, but because the scientific team did not recognize the different shape of such waves, these waves were misinterpreted. Now, with four confirmed events as a benchmark, they hope to find more.

Measuring the frequency of impact crater-forming events will help determine the age of Martian landscapes and show that craters Like this, how long they last before being buried by sand or other processes. According to Dr. Raphael Garcia, the main author of this study, from the Special Institute of Aeronautics and Space in France, "Collisions are the clocks of the solar system." It defeats all the many instruments and satellites of terrestrial seismography. On Earth, only one impact crater has been matched with equivalent seismic oscillations and infrasonic detections of meteorite passage through the atmosphere.

The seismic network installed by the Apollo astronauts has also picked up vibrations from many impacts, but none They did not match the newly formed craters on the surface of the moon.

  • NASA's InSight probe took a selfie before its death on Mars

Cover photo: impact crater Formed by a meteorite on September 5, 2021
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

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