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Latest Mars Avalanche Likely Triggered by Impact Event

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posted on May, 11 2010 @ 01:05 AM
Hi all,

there's been a fair bit of debate about what causes Avalanches as seen in many Mars images.

This story here shows one such avalanche, but instead of being cause by changes in the surface ice, this one was cause by an impact!

Take a look -

The HiRISE team from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has captured a few avalanches on Mars, some actually while in progress. But this latest landslide is a little different.
Above is a dust avalanche that created a streak on the slopes of Olympus Mons, the solar system's largest volcano. While scientists believe some of the previous avalanches seen on Mars occur due to the expansion and contraction of ice from seasonal temperature differences, this one was caused by an impact event.

This HiRISE image was taken on March 31, 2010 and reveals a small, pristine impact crater (blue arrow). "It shows a fuzzy source area, which resembles the airblast patterns seen at many other recent impact sites," said Alfred McEwen, Principal Investigator for HiRISE. "The crater is only about 4.5 meters across, meaning the bolide was only about a half a meter wide, so it didn't take much to trigger this landslide."

Here's a before and after -

Planetary scientists say that landslides or avalanches on Mars can also be caused by small Mars-quakes or the sublimation of carbon dioxide frost which dislodges rocks

Interesting Photo. Thought I would share this with y'all....


posted on May, 11 2010 @ 02:31 AM

This is the first time i've ever heard of avalanches on mars....

I find it really fascinating that something HALF A METER across only left a 4.5m crater. wouldn't the same item have left something far more impressive on earth?

A S+F for you sir... very interesting post ^_^

posted on May, 11 2010 @ 02:51 AM
reply to post by Havoc40k

There have been some debates on ATS in the past about these avalanches and how they could possibly happen, but the link explains it well.

As for the size of the crater, i'm no expert here, but I imagine a few different factors could make things different from here on earth such as the Atmosphere and the Speed at which the object hit, and also the surface itself which is different from here on Earth.

I'm sure there are others on here who could explain it more scientifically than me...


posted on May, 11 2010 @ 02:59 AM
Mars doesn't have much of an Atmosphere so even little basketball sized meteors can make it through so depending on it's velocity I'm sure it's possible to trigger an avalanche.

We do it here in the mountains for avalanche control. Only we use 105mm shells.

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