In the last three years, Mars has been nailed by some sort of space rock – and NASA has discovered the brand new crater.
NASA could not observe the impact in real time; the crater was spotted and photographed by the Mars Reconnaissance orbiter of the space agency, which last checked this area in September 2016, Space.com reports. And the unusually colorful crater – more on that later – is a dazzling reminder of the violence of space.
The crater is distinguished by its noticeably blue spot that stretches over 2,600 square feet on the surface of Mars. Veronica Bray, the scientist who imaged the crater, said Space.com the impact of the impact was to drive dust away from the surface to expose darker rocks. She added that it was possible that the unusual blue color was a sign of ice that was hiding just below the surface.
KABOOM! Before and after images of a meteorite forming a brand new crater impact on Mars. Between February 18, 2017 and March 20, 2019. pic.twitter.com/TWXtUoP5NA
– Peter Grindrod (@Peter_Grindrod) June 12, 2019
"It's a reminder of what's going on," said Bray Space.com. "It's a magnificent [crater.] I'm glad to have it in the color band. "
Based on the size of the crater, NASA scientists believe that the space rock was probably longer than five feet and more dense than most objects that struck Mars.
While leaving a massive mark on the surface of Mars, such a small rock would have been destroyed as it entered the Earth's atmosphere, Bray said. Space.com.
"This kind of thing has blown me away," Peter Grindrod, a Mars researcher, told the site. "I have never seen anything like it."
READ MORE: Bam! Fresh crater spied on Mars – and it looks spectacular[[[[Space.com]
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