A meteoroid impact on Mars triggers a dusty avalanche

A meteoroid recently slammed into the side of a hillside on Mars, exploding on impact, destabilising the slope and triggering a long avalanche. The crater only measures about five meters (16 feet) across, but the avalanche left a dark trail of dry dust stretching a full kilometre (0.62 miles) down the side of a slope in a hilly region of the red planet. The image was captured by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment – HiRISE – aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft.

A dark, dusty avalanche stretches away from a small impact crater on the side of a martian hill, running away toward the top of this picture from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona