NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) captured an image of the aftermath of an asteroid impact on Mars’ surface, according to Inverse.
Astronomers estimate that the 5 foot wide meteorite struck the Martian surface, leaving a 49 to 53 foot wide crater, sometime between September 2016 and February 2019.
Chief scientist at The Planetary Society Dr. Bruce Betts told Inverse “when this size object hits Earth’s atmosphere, it breaks up, and at least most of it burns up before hitting the ground. Mars has a much thinner atmosphere, so these sized objects make it through to impact the surface.”
Mars scientist and targeting specialist Veronica Bray from the University of Arizona used High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) to show areas where the red surface material was disrupted by the impact.
“Sometimes when we see blue in a HiRISE image, it can indicate water ice, but sometimes it just points us to compositional differences in rock and dust,” Bray said. “So the area where the red dust has been removed by the impact appears blue to us in an enhanced-color HiRISE image.”