The Martian Asteroid Impact That Seems to Have Revealed Subsurface Ice

On this episode of Scott Manley’s YouTube channel, he looks at the asteroid impact event that occurred on Mars last December and appears to have revealed ice below the Martian surface.

One fascinating and tantalizing thing is that, we’ve known about ice at the poles for a while, but this impact is near the equator, suggesting there might be subsurface ice available at many locations around the planet.

Since Mars Insight began monitoring seismic events on Mars it recorded many tectonic events, and many asteroid impacts. However a new study looks at two of the largest events, one on December 21st 2021 created a large 150 meter crater and was likely caused by an asteroid weighing 500 tons travelling at 7-8 kilometers per second. Images of the crater appear to show bright spots in the ejecta, possibly ice from a sub surface permafrost layer.

The event also allowed the planetary scientists to observe the behaviour of Mars’ interior and come up with new understanding of the geology.


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