Monday, December 12, 2011

UA finds meteorites trigger Mars dust avalanches

Planetary scientists at University of Arizona report that the Mars Reconnaissance Orbit is revealing at least 20 new meteor craters, 1 to 50 meters wide, forming on the Red Planet every year. And the airborne shockwaves appear to be triggering thousands of dust avalanches in the areas surrounding the impact craters, according to Kaylan Burleigh at UA in a story in New Scientist describing results in a new journal article (Icarus, DOI: 10.1016/j.icarus.2011.10.026).

[Right, a "similar but more dramatic" dust avalanche on Mars. Credit, UA/JPL]

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