back to article Origins of mysterious marsquake settled: It was a meteoroid what done it

Data collected from two Mars missions has been combined to explain why the red planet shook on Christmas Eve 2021. NASA's InSight Lander felt the ground shake on that day. Scientists have since learned more about the event thanks to images from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), which spotted a previously unobserved …


    Two movie references. Three if you include the porno!

    Maybe the Arachnids from Star Ship Troopers were on to something - instead of sending fragile drilling probes that can't go more than a couple of inches - we should just hurdle asteroids towards Mars, we'd get a Deep(er) Impact.

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Impeccable timing

    So Mars has protected Earth from at least one asteroid impact, and Bruce Willis can rest easy for a while longer.

    Now, I'm guessing that an asteroid that's only 0.54 brontosauri wide is kind of difficult to detect beyond the orbit of Mars, but doesn't this mean that, when Musk will be living on Mars, he's going to need to have some form of asteroid alert system ?

    And now I've just realized : on Mars you'll never see a shooting star.

    1. lglethal Silver badge

      Re: Impeccable timing

      "on Mars you'll never see a shooting star."

      Oh it's possible you will, but it's likely to be the last thing you ever see...

    2. Alumoi Silver badge

      Re: Impeccable timing

      Depending on the weapons used by the star and wether it's using a cloaking device or not.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Impeccable timing

      Not just some form of asteroid alert but a missile defense system to take down lumps of rock raining in from 23 miles away.

    4. Twanky

      Re: Impeccable timing

      If you're using brontosauri to measure the width of something do you have to use the (Reg) standard brontosaurus width? What's that in linguine?

    5. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      Forbidden lines prefer a rareified atmosphere

      "I've just realized : on Mars you'll never see a shooting star."

      I think you will. Back of the envelope:

      Wikipedia says shooting stars "...become visible between about 540 to 860 kilolinguine above Earth. They usually disintegrate at altitudes of 360 to 680 kilolinguine." And claims, "The highest atmospheric density on Mars is equal to the density found 250 kilolinguine above the Earth's surface..."

      All of which suggests there is enough atmosphere on Mars to render them visible, albeit at a lower altitude and so over a small area. (But, hey, it's a smaller planet.) Some of the colour is dependent on the atmospheric composition, so they may look different.

    6. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Impeccable timing

      "And now I've just realized : on Mars you'll never see a shooting star."

      And, while Mars may move a little, the Earth won't move for colonists.

      Paris ---->

      (The latest plastic surgery went bad)

  3. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    A Mars delivery

    A rock that came in from space and ended up in the soil and water - this has the potential to change things because it may have delivered a start to genetics. You can read an article in Science News that documents that all of the bases in DNA and RNA have been found in meteorites. So rocks from space may change the world over time.

  4. Anonymous Coward


    The fact that boffins have not only detected the quake but also identified the meteor crater is fantastic.

    But lost in the headline news was another study released which determined that Cerberus Fossae, a region full of apparent fault lines, is still volcanically active.

    And both of these from a lander that NASA feels will probably freeze to death soon due to dust buildup on its solar panels.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Plus

      Yes, it's such a shame no one has come up with a viable[1] way of cleaning the panels.

      [1] Yes, I know. Mass cost that is better used for more instruments, but it's still such a shame that all that tech, still fully functional, just sitting there because of a little dust :-(

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: Plus

        If the wind blows, the panels will rock.

        And on will live InSight, cameras and all.

        So there's still a chance.

        And the real reason is that cleaning staticy sharp dust from a panel without damaging the panel or the cleaning thingy is exceedingly difficult.

        On Earth we can only really do this using water and detergent, an approach that's simply impossible on Mars. Sadly.

      2. ravenviz Silver badge

        Re: Plus

        They could have little Roombas on them, held down magnetically, that then go back to a charging dock. There would need to be a way of removing the space hair that accumulates in the brushes though.

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