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Thu Jan 3, 2013, 12:14 AM

Mars Astronauts Likely to Witness 1 Megaton Asteroid Impacts


December 17, 2012

Mars Astronauts Likely to Witness 1 Megaton Asteroid Impacts

The latest estimate of asteroid impact probabilities on Mars suggests a three year mission would experience a 1 megaton event


Bruckman and co’s work is one of mathematical modelling and testing. These guys have created a model that describes the rate of impact on Earth and tested it against the existing data.

Their model suggests that Tunguska-type events of around 10 megatons should occur roughly once a century and smaller 1 megaton events once every 15 years. They say that both these predictions are compatible with crater counts and most other estimates.

Emboldened by this success, they apply the same model to Mars, where impact rates are likely to be higher because of its proximity to the asteroid belt. Here’s the interesting part: these guys calcaulte that Mars experiences a 1 megaton event every three years.

That’s significant because future missions to Mars may well last several years. “We expect that Mars visitors spending a few years there will have a high probability of witnessing a megaton-type meteorite impact.” they say.


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Reply Mars Astronauts Likely to Witness 1 Megaton Asteroid Impacts (Original post)
bananas Jan 2013 OP
Fumesucker Jan 2013 #1

Response to bananas (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 12:24 AM

1. The surface area of Mars is only a little less than dry land area of Earth

Other than by seismometer data the astronauts would probably never know if an asteroid were to hit the planet.

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