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NASA Mars lander captures strikes by 4 incoming space rocks

Meteor Strikes
Posted at 4:24 PM, Sep 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-19 17:44:52-04

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP)  — A NASA lander on Mars has captured the vibrations and sounds of four meteoroids striking the planet's surface.

Scientists reported Monday that Mars InSight had detected seismic and acoustic waves from a series of impacts in 2020 and 2021.

A satellite orbiting the red planet confirmed the impact locations, as far as 180 miles from the lander.

Scientists are delighted by the detections - a first for Mars - and the resulting craters.

NASA said the first meteoroid struck the planet and then broke off into at least three pieces, each leaving its own crater.

They've waited more than three years for InSight's seismometer to sense impacts from incoming space rocks.

They said the seismometer may have missed the impacts due to Martian wind interfering or seasonal changes in the atmosphere.

But audio captured of the impact, which NASA described as three “bloops,” scientists said they now know what to look for.

InSight has already detected more than 1,300 marsquakes.