Scientists discovered that there was a triple crater in the region of Mars that was frequently exposed to asteroids about 4 billion years ago. There are different theories about the reason for the formation of this triple crater.
Mars, one of humanity’s greatest objects of curiosity in space for years, has been subjected to many asteroid collisions throughout its 4.6 billion-year long history. For this reason, the surface of the Red Planet is home to more than 43,000 craters with a size of more than 5 km from collisions.
Astronomers have identified 3 overlapping basins in the Noachis Terra mountainous region of ancient Mars. Some of the craters in this region can span up to 140 km, while the smallest ones can reach 28 km in width.
3 interlaced craters on Mars
Whether this “triple crater” formed in a single collision or more than one collision is not yet known. The object that makes up this crater may have split into three parts shortly before it hit the surface, the researchers say. However, a similar situation is not observed in other examples.
According to the news in Science Alert, although double and triple craters are not familiar to see, they are not unheard of formations. Rarely, they can be seen on Mars and even on Earth. However, most of them do not occur in similar ways. For example, in 2015, a similar triple crater formation was seen in Elysium Planitia near Mars’ equatorial region.
Some scientists say the dual craters may be caused by binary asteroids. Binary asteroids consist of two or more rocky bodies in close contact or orbit. Although 2% of the asteroids are thought to be made up of two or more bodies, that doesn’t mean they won’t hit some planets every now and then.
In addition, another explanation on this subject comes from the European Space Agency (ESA). ESA states that different objects can hit this point on the surface of Mars in different time periods and form the crater super position entirely by chance.
However, the formation of this triple crater, rather than the chance that three different objects hit the same point at different times, but the splitting of an object before hitting the surface, may indicate that the atmosphere of Mars once was thicker than it is now. This can include the issue of temperature and water.