Asteroid triggered mega-tsunami on Mars 3.7 billion years ago? Find out here

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 04 August 2019, 09:44 AM
Mars (Phpto Credit: Twitter)
Mars (Phpto Credit: Twitter)

Recently, many deadly asteroids including 2019 OK, 2019 OD, 2015 HM10, 2019 OE, 2019 NN3, 2019 MB4, 2019 MT2, 2006 QV89, 2016 NO56M, RF12 and others approached towards the Earth, fortunately did not hit our planet. Asteroids, if hit any planet, can bring tsunamis, shock waves and flattening winds that could be catastrophic. Nearly 66 million years ago, an asteroid had hit the Earth which created a 93 mile-wide (150km) crater in what is now the Gulf of Mexico. As soon as the asteroid hit the Earth, it triggered a 100-metre high mega-tsunami. According to a report published in Express.co.uk, a new study suggests that Mars may have suffered a similar mega-tsunami event 3.7 billion years ago.

Express.co.uk also quoted Dr Francois Costard, a planetary geomorphologist at the French National Centre for Scientific Research, explaining how two successive waves were formed during asteroid impact on Mars.

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Dr Francois Costard said, “It was a really large-scale, high speed tsunami. At the very beginning, a crater of 70km in diameter was created by the impact. This expelled a huge volume of water, with wave propagation at 60m/second.”

“The initial wave was about 300m in height. After just a few hours, that tsunami wave reached the palaeo-shoreline located at a few hundred km from the impact crater. Finally, due to the Martian ocean filling in that crater, which produced a kind of rebound, there was a second wave propagation,” he added.

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The researchers focused their study on the Lomonosov crater, which they believe is likely to have been created by a massive 10 mile-wide asteroid. The Martian crater closely resembles the marine craters. Therefore, the researchers concluded this supposed Martian ocean could be a good place to look for evidence of life on the planet.

Dr Francois Costard said, “So was it a good condition for the presence of life? It is very difficult to say something about that. And it would be interesting to land on the surface of that crater.”

“But before that I think we need much more detailed studies of that impact crater and some more studies of the terrain between the crater and the lowlands,” he added.

It is worth mentioning here that if it is true then the research adds weight to the theory Mars once had an ocean, with implications for future searches for alien life on Mars.

First Published: Sunday, August 04, 2019 09:13 AM

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