Mars is cluttered with craters made due to collisions of asteroids.
Our universe is filled with mysteries and the more scientists are trying to explore it the more confusing it gets. With new technological advancements, scientists have discovered several asteroids moving in space. We have read about several asteroids heading towards earth, however, none of them have hazardous effects on earth. An asteroid hit on earth could lead to extinction of an entire species just like it did 66 million years ago when Dinosaurs went extinct. What if two asteroids collide on a similar planet at the same time? Well! Researchers have observed this phenomenon on Mars.
As per the study published in the journal Icarus, scientists have observed hundreds of craters resulting from the impacts of a binary system on the red planet. Binary asteroids are just like normal asteroids but one of them revolves around the larger one just like the moon orbits earth. This particular structure could cause interesting scenarios, especially when they hit a planet like Mars. When a binary asteroid hits the surface of a planet, they are known as double impact asteroids and its impact crater can show some weird physics phenomena.
The lead author of the study, Dmitrii Vavilov is quoted by the Wired as saying that these craters are really difficult to find, however, the team has been able to identify some of them based on their study.
What is the weird physics behind double impact asteroid strike on Mars?
The first binary asteroid was discovered in 1993 by the NASA Galileo spacecraft while capturing images of an asteroid called Ida on its way to Jupiter. Ida was the larger asteroid in a binary asteroid system and a smaller asteroid called Dactyl orbited around it. Since then, scientists have observed hundreds of such asteroids. It gives them a rough conclusion that about 1 in every 6 asteroids is part of a binary system which makes it about 16% of all asteroids.
Elliot Sefton-Nash, the deputy project scientist on ESA’s delayed ExoMars program, told Wired that the shockwaves from these two asteroids’ collisions can create a high pressure zone which is naturally never seen in the world.