Mars’ greatest hits let us see what the red planet is made of

Its thinner atmosphere means Mars is more prone to being hit by space rocks than Earth, and more than 1,000 new impact craters have been observed over the past 30 years of scientific monitoring.

But Miljkovic said there’s no guarantee they’re all new craters, meaning they couldn’t say for sure if Mars was hit more than Earth.


“It’s a pretty complicated question which planet gets shattered more – both get shattered pretty badly, but Earth’s atmosphere filters out a lot more of the smaller rocks,” she said.

The data also gives researchers new insights into the interior of the planet.

Scientists can use the seismic data to make inferences about the nature of the rock and other materials through which the seismic waves traveled for InSight to detect.

“Impacts are actually a really nice way to confirm our earlier guesses about the composition of Martian interior because we can tell how big the rock that caused that impact was, so we know how much energy it would have been at impact, ” She said.

“And then we can connect the dots about the material that needs to be beneath the surface that the seismic waves passed through to give us a better look at the structure of Mars.”

Miljkovic said she and her colleagues would continue to analyze the data, although they would not receive any new data from InSight as the mission is due to be phased out by the end of the year.

The research was published in the journal nature geosciences. Mars’ greatest hits let us see what the red planet is made of

Joel McCord

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