Monday, June 30, 2008

Mars Appears Home to 'Largest Impact in the Solar System'

Researchers believe a 5,200 by 6,500 mile basin on Mars is the site of an ancient impact, possibly "the largest impact yet found in the solar system," reports Reuters.

The gaping crater (does this even count as a crater since it's so huge?) is big enough to fit Asia, Europe and Australia, and probably held an ocean at one time.

The object hitting Mars and leaving this cataclysmic mark would have been between 1,000 and 1,600 miles in diameter. The impact would have annihilated half the planet's crust and "disrupted" what was left. What's more, the planet's magnetic field would have been disrupted.

The Earth's moon is believed to be the leftovers of a
collision between the earth and a mars-sized protoplanet. But there's not as much evidence for this as we have for the Mars collision. That is, unless, we suddenly realize the whole Pacific Ocean is where we got nailed.

In other Earth mega-collision news, Pound360 blogged earlier about how our planet may have rotated much faster before being thumped by whatever it is that (may have) hit us. How much faster? Once every four hours. In fact,
the impact may have reversed…

(Photo courtesy NASA/JPL)

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.