In its 4.6 billion year history, Tuesday The meteor has taken a fair share of its punches from injuring and caring for comets.
Today, the surface of the Red Planet is covered No less than 43,000 impact grooves Larger than 5 km; Some ancient regions have beaten more than others.
Astronomers have discovered an area of about 4 billion years ago that was heavily affected – in the ancient Martian mountains of Nochis Terra – by three intersecting basins.
This natural wen map of depression is not as large as some of the other craters in the Nocice Terra, some of which may extend approximately 140 km (87 mi) across, but the smallest crater in the area is still 28 km wide.
It is one of the ancient seals. One small overlap, the largest another 45 km.
It is difficult to say whether the triple impact groove was caused by a collision or more. Researchers say the impact may have broken into three pieces before hitting the ground in close formation, but other examples of this distorted approach Do not show such clear ridge definitions, Or they do not overlap so beautifully.
For example, in 2015, astronomers observed a Three grooves similar At Elysium Planetia (pictured below) near the equator of Mars. At the time, the team thought that might be a factor Asteroid May be due to breaking up in the atmosphere, or a small asteroid orbiting a large binary pair.
In 2017, the Mars Renaissance Orbit Observed Astronomers said a prolonged depression from the three impact craters combined could have come from three pieces flying in close formation.
Some believe that double craters are caused by double asteroids and that two or more rock bodies are in close contact or orbit close to each other. Only About 2 percent of all asteroids It is thought to form from two or more such bodies, but that does not mean that they can sometimes leave a scar when they collide with a planet.
“Another explanation may be coincidental.” Reads A recent press release from the European Space Agency said, “At different points, three separate impacts may have hit the surface of Mars at this point, creating a clean superposition of the craters.”
Given how much of this part of Mars was bombed at one time, experts say it is quite possible, although it is very interesting.
On the other hand, it’s not by three chance encounters, but if the impact really separates before it hits Mars, it tells us something important about this planet: 4 billion years ago, Mars’ atmosphere may have been a lot harder to penetrate than it is now, signifying warmth and humidity.
Like the other grooves in the area, this three-impact groove shows flat edges and shallow bases from time wear and tear. Some of its marks even suggest a glacier-like flow, which may help soften the soil beneath, filling the infiltration gradually as the ice melts.
As with most scars, this one speaks volumes about the past.