April 10, 2024 at 12:41 pm

Here’s How A Single Asteroid Hit Mars And Left Two Billion Craters In Its Wake

by Trisha Leigh

Source: Shutterstock

The more time NASA’s rovers spend on Mars, the more we learn about both that planet’s history and the role it played in the development of our universe. It can actually teach us about the history of Earth, too.

It seems wild to think that one asteroid could create two billion craters, but that’s exactly what scientists say happened.

Scientists at JPL say that 2.3 million years ago, an asteroid hit Mars and created a huge crater known as Corinto. It’s 8.6 miles across. It also created several billion secondary craters by sending up a huge scattering of rocks after it hit the surface.

Then those rocks triggered a chain reaction, each creating a smaller crater of its own as it crashed back to the surface.

Source: Public Domain

Each of these billions of craters are at least 33 feet across. The total affected area is spread out across 540,000 square miles – including the landing spot of the InSight Mars lander, says JPL scientist Dr. Golombeck.

“Quantifying the number of secondaries is important to better understand how a relatively small crater could possibly eject that much material during the cratering process.”

Source: Geohack

This is one of many fascinating discoveries surrounding meteorite impacts on Mars’ surface. One struck so hard that it chipped off pieces of underground ice.

Every discovery and revelation about Mars helps NASA and its astronauts be more prepared if and when we finally gear up to send a manned mission to the red planet.

If you think that’s impressive, check out this story about a “goldmine” of lithium that was found in the U.S. that could completely change the EV battery game.