Asteroid double collision is a strange phenomenon where two asteroids collide at the same point at the same time. Although very rare, Mars has many such craters created by the impact of two asteroids. But what do they really reveal? Find out.
Deep space holds mysteries, and the more scientists discover it, the more confusing it becomes. Take the asteroid example. We recently discovered a metal asteroid, an armored asteroid, and now scientists are looking for an elusive binary asteroid that moves as part of the asteroid. of the system. Binary asteroids are like normal asteroids but one of them revolves around the larger asteroid. This particular structure also causes interesting scenarios, especially when they hit a planet like Mars. When an asteroid strikes the surface of a planet, they are called double-impact asteroids. And it is this crater that is of most interest to scientists because it can reveal some strange physical phenomena.
According to one report by Wired, a research was published in the journal Icarus investigating this occurrence on the planet Mars. Researchers have studied the surface of the red planet and have found many caterpillars that could have been formed through asteroid double collisions. The study’s lead author, Dmitrii Vavilov told Wired that while they were indeed hard to find, the team was able to identify some of them based on their findings.
Strange physics behind double impact asteroid strike on Mars
The first time a binary asteroid was discovered was in 1993 when the NASA Galileo spacecraft spotted Ida en route to Jupiter. Ida is the larger asteroid in the binary asteroid system and a smaller asteroid named Dactyl orbits it like the Moon orbits the Earth. Since then, scientists have observed countless such asteroids to come to the preliminary conclusion that 1 in 6 asteroids is part of the binary system. That makes it about 16% of all asteroids.
But the asteroid itself isn’t the most interesting part. That’s what happens when both collide with the same surface. Elliot Sefton-Nash, deputy project scientist on ESA’s delayed ExoMars program, told Wired that shock waves from the two asteroids could collide and create a region of high pressure that nature has never seen before. seen in the world. “It’s like going in the opposite direction on a highway. You can see the difference in minerals that only form under very high pressure,” he added.
And Mars is the perfect location to see this because the planet’s atmosphere and surface make craters visible for a long time. Using high-resolution cameras, the researchers were able to find 150 double-impact craters larger than 4 kilometers across. For now, it remains to be seen what a closer examination of these sites will reveal to us.