Pendarat Marikh InSight NASA Mengesan Kesan Meteoroid yang Menakjubkan di Planet Merah

Tanggapan artis tentang kesan meteorit pada 24 Disember 2021, di rantau Amazonis Planitia di Marikh. Kredit: © IPGP -CNES – N. Starter

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured the cavernous new crater from space.

Last December 24, NASA’s InSight lander recorded a magnitude 4 marsquake. However, scientists only learned the cause of that quake later: a meteoroid impact estimated to be one of the biggest seen on Mars since NASA began exploring the cosmos. Furthermore, the meteoroid strike excavated boulder-size chunks of ice buried closer to the Martian equator than ever found before – a discovery with implications for NASA’s future plans to send astronaut explorers to the Red Planet.

Researchers determined the quake resulted from a meteoroid impact when they spotted a new, yawning crater in before-and-after images from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). Offering a rare opportunity to see how a large impact shook the ground on Mars, the event and its effects are detailed in two scientific papers published on Thursday, October 27, in the peer-reviewed journal Science.

Mars Meteoroid Strike Impact Crater

Boulder-size blocks of water ice can be seen around the rim of an impact crater on Mars, as viewed by the High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE camera) aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The crater was formed on December 24, 2021, by a meteoroid strike in the Amazonis Planitia region. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

It is estimated that the meteoroid spanned 16 to 39 feet (5 to 12 meters). This is small enough that it would have burned up in Earth’s atmosphere, but not in Mars’ thin atmosphere, which is only 1% as dense as our planet’s. The impact, in a region called Amazonis Planitia, blasted out a crater approximately 492 feet (150 meters) across and 70 feet (21 meters) deep. Some of the ejecta thrown by the impact flew as far as 23 miles (37 kilometers) away.

With images and seismic data documenting the event, this is believed to be one of the largest craters ever witnessed forming any place in the solar system. Many larger craters exist on the Red Planet, but they are significantly older and were formed before any Mars mission.

Meteoroid Impact Crater on Mars

This meteoroid impact crater on Mars was discovered using the black-and-white Context Camera aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The Context Camera took these before-and-after images of the impact, which occurred on December 24, 2021, in a region of Mars called Amazonis Planitia. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

“It’s unprecedented to find a fresh impact of this size,” said Ingrid Daubar of Brown University, who leads InSight’s Impact Science Working Group. “It’s an exciting moment in geologic history, and we got to witness it.”

Due to dust settling on its solar panels, InSight has seen its power drastically decline in recent months. Currently, the spacecraft is expected to shut down within the next six weeks, bringing the mission’s science to an end.


Video ini termasuk seismogram dan sonifikasi isyarat yang dirakam oleh pendarat InSight Mars NASA, yang mengesan serangan meteoroid gergasi pada 24 Disember 2021, hari Marikh ke-1,094 atau sol, misi itu. Kredit: NASA/[{” attribute=””>JPL-Caltech/CNES/Imperial College London

InSight is studying the planet’s crust, mantle, and core. Seismic waves are key to the mission and have revealed the size, depth, and composition of Mars’ inner layers. Since landing in November 2018, InSight has detected 1,318 marsquakes, including several caused by smaller meteoroid impacts.

However, the quake resulting from last December’s meteoroid strike was the first observed to have surface waves. This is a kind of seismic wave that ripples along the top of a planet’s crust. The second of the two Science papers related to the big impact describes how scientists use these waves to study the structure of Mars’ crust.

Mars Meteoroid Strike Impact Crater Annotated

The impact crater, formed December 24, 2021, by a meteoroid strike in the Amazonis Planitia region of Mars, is about 490 feet (150 meters) across, as seen in this annotated image taken by the High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE camera) aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

Crater Hunters

In late 2021, InSight scientists reported to the rest of the team they had detected a major marsquake on December 24. On February 11, 2022, the crater was first spotted by scientists working at Malin Space Science Systems (MSSS), which built and operates two cameras aboard MRO. The Context Camera (CTX) provides black-and-white, medium-resolution images, while the Mars Color Imager (MARCI) produces daily maps of the entire planet, allowing scientists to track large-scale weather changes like the recent regional dust storm that further diminished InSight’s solar power.

The impact’s blast zone was visible in MARCI data which allowed the team to pin down a 24-hour period within which the impact occurred. These observations correlated with the seismic epicenter, conclusively demonstrating that a meteoroid impact caused the large marsquake on December 24.


Animasi ini menggambarkan jejambat kawah hentaman meteoroid di Marikh yang dikelilingi oleh ketulan ais sebesar batu. Animasi itu dicipta menggunakan data daripada kamera Eksperimen Sains Pengimejan Resolusi Tinggi (HiRISE) di atas Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter NASA. Kredit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

“Imej impak itu tidak seperti yang pernah saya lihat sebelum ini, dengan kawah besar, ais terdedah, dan zon letupan dramatik yang dipelihara dalam debu Marikh,” kata Liliya Posiolova, yang mengetuai Kumpulan Sains dan Operasi Orbital di MSSS. “Saya tidak dapat mengelak daripada membayangkan bagaimana rasanya menyaksikan impak, letupan atmosfera, dan serpihan yang terlontar dari jarak jauh ke bawah.”

Menentukan kadar kawah muncul di Marikh adalah penting untuk menapis garis masa geologi planet ini. Di permukaan yang lebih tua, seperti Marikh dan Bulan kita, terdapat lebih banyak kawah daripada di Bumi. Ini kerana di planet kita, proses hakisan dan plat tektonik memadamkan ciri lama dari permukaan.

Kawah baru juga mendedahkan bahan di bawah permukaan. Dalam kes ini, ketulan besar ais yang bertaburan oleh kesan telah dilihat oleh Eksperimen Sains Pengimejan Resolusi Tinggi MRO (HiRISE) kamera warna.

Ais bawah permukaan akan menjadi a sumber penting untuk angkasawan, yang boleh menggunakannya untuk pelbagai keperluan, termasuk air minuman, pertanian dan propelan roket. Ais yang tertimbus tidak pernah dikesan sedekat ini dengan khatulistiwa Marikh. Ini amat penting kerana, sebagai bahagian paling panas di Marikh, ia merupakan lokasi yang menarik untuk para angkasawan mendarat.

Rujukan:

“Kawah impak terbaru terbesar di Marikh: Pengimejan orbit dan penyiasatan bersama seismik permukaan” oleh LV Posiolova, P. Lognonné, WB Banerdt, J. Clinton, GS Collins, T. Kawamura, S. Ceylan, IJ Daubar, B. Fernando, M. Froment, D. Giardini, MC Malin, K. Miljkovic, SC Stähler, Z. Xu, ME Banks, É. Beucler, BA Cantor, C. Charalambous, N. Dahmen, P. Davis, M. Drilleau, CM Dundas, C. Durán, F. Euchner, RF Garcia, M. Golombek, A. Horleston, C. Keegan, A. Khan , D. Kim, C. Larmat, R. Lorenz, L. Margerin, S. Menina, M. Panning, C. Pardo, C. Perrin, WT Pike, M. Plasman, A. Rajšic, L. Rolland, E. Rougier, G. Speth, A. Spiga, A. Stott, D. Susko, NA Teanby, A. Valeh, A. Werynski, N. Wójcicka dan G. Zenhäusern, 27 Oktober 2022, Sains.
DOI: 10.1126/science.abq7704

“Gelombang permukaan dan struktur kerak di Marikh” oleh D. Kim, WB Banerdt, S. Ceylan, D. Giardini, V. Lekic, P. Lognonné, C. Beghein, É. Beucler, S. Carrasco, C. Charalambous, J. Clinton, M. Drilleau, C. Durán, M. Golombek, R. Joshi, A. Khan, B. Knapmeyer-Endrun, J. Li, R. Maguire, WT Pike , H. Samuel, M. Schimmel, NC Schmerr, SC Stähler, E. Stutzmann, M. Wieczorek, Z. Xu, A. Batov, E. Bozdag, N. Dahmen, P. Davis, T. Gudkova, A. Horleston , Q. Huang, T. Kawamura, SD King, SM McLennan, F. Nimmo, M. Plasman, AC Plesa, IE Stepanova, E. Weidner, G. Zenhäusern, IJ Daubar, B. Fernando, RF Garcia, LV Posiolova dan MP Panning, 27 Oktober 2022, Sains.
DOI: 10.1126/science.abq7157

Lagi Mengenai Misi

JPL menguruskan InSight dan Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter untuk Direktorat Misi Sains NASA. InSight ialah sebahagian daripada Program Penemuan NASA, yang diuruskan oleh Pusat Penerbangan Angkasa Marshall agensi di Huntsville, Alabama. Lockheed Martin Space di Denver membina Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, kapal angkasa InSight (termasuk peringkat pelayaran dan pendaratnya), dan menyokong operasi kapal angkasa untuk kedua-dua misi.

Sistem Sains Angkasa Malin di San Diego membina dan mengendalikan Kamera Konteks dan kamera MARCI. Universiti Arizona membina dan mengendalikan kamera HiRISE.

Sebilangan rakan kongsi Eropah, termasuk Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES) Perancis dan Pusat Aeroangkasa Jerman (DLR), menyokong misi InSight. CNES menyediakan instrumen Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS) kepada NASA, dengan penyiasat utama di IPGP (Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris). Sumbangan penting untuk SEIS datang daripada IPGP; Institut Penyelidikan Sistem Suria (MPS) Max Planck di Jerman; Institut Teknologi Persekutuan Switzerland (ETH Zurich) di Switzerland; Imperial College London dan Universiti Oxford di United Kingdom; dan JPL. DLR menyediakan instrumen Pakej Haba dan Sifat Fizikal (HP3), dengan sumbangan penting daripada Pusat Penyelidikan Angkasa (CBK) Akademi Sains Poland dan Astronika di Poland. Centro de Astrobiología (CAB) Sepanyol membekalkan penderia suhu dan angin, dan Agensi Angkasa Itali (ASI) membekalkan pemantul retro laser pasif.

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Pendarat Marikh InSight NASA Mengesan Kesan Meteoroid yang Menakjubkan di Planet Merah


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