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Meteoroid Fragmentation on Mars

Mars fireball

A fragmenting fireball on Mars will make a cluster of small craters on Mars (above). The blue in the upper sky has to do with sunset colors on Mars, illumination of dust-poor high atmosphere, possible high elevation at this location, and the occasional dust clearings in Mars atmosphere. The painting by W.K. Hartmann was inspired by a paper by Hartmann et al. 2018 (Martian Cratering 12. Utilizing primary crater clusters to study crater populations and meteoroid properties, in Meteoritics and Planetary Science, 53, 672-686). (below) (a) Is a discovery image of cluster of new craters by Mars Global Surveyor, and (b) is a follow up image by the higher resolution HiRISE camera aboard Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter mission.  These clusters are used to learn more about meteoroid fragmentation during passage through the Martian atmosphere, and the physical properties of the meteoroids themselves.  

New cluster

Provided by W.K. Hartmann

July 22, 2018
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