Sunday, December 18, 2011

Meteorites Trigger Avalanches on Mars

Date: 16 December 2011 Time: 04:12 PM ET
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This HiRISE image from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows a central crater on Mars with two dagger-like features extending at an angle. Called scimitars, these features most likely resulted from shockwave interference just before impact, scientists
This HiRISE image from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows a central crater on Mars with two dagger-like features extending at an angle. Called scimitars, these features most likely resulted from shockwave interference just before impact, scientists say.
CREDIT: NASA/JPL-Caltech/The University of Arizona
As meteorites careen toward the surface of Mars, they can trigger avalanches before they even hit the ground, a new study suggests.
Space rocks flying toward the Martian surface can travel at several times the speed of sound, creating shockwaves in the air. These shockwaves pummel the ground, kicking up dust that rolls over slopes in dark streaks that can be seen from orbit, scientists say.

MORE: http://www.space.com/13965-mars-avalanches-meteorite-shockwaves.html








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