In these observations, scientists were able to make a direct connection from the input of debris from a specific meteor shower to the formation of this kind of transient layer in response; that is a first on any planet, including Earth. EDT within about 87, miles , kilometers of the Red Planet. This is less than half the distance between Earth and our moon and less than one-tenth the distance of any known comet flyby of Earth.
Dust from the comet impacted Mars and was vaporized high in the atmosphere, producing what was likely an impressive meteor shower. Earth-based and a host of space telescopes also observed the unique celestial object. The remote-sensing Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph observed intense ultraviolet emission from magnesium and iron ions high in the atmosphere in the aftermath of the meteor shower. Not even the most intense meteor storms on Earth have produced as strong a response as this one. The emission dominated Mars' ultraviolet spectrum for several hours after the encounter and then dissipated over the next two days.
These are the first direct measurements of the composition of dust from an Oort Cloud comet. The Oort Cloud, well beyond the outer-most planets that surround our sun, is a spherical region of icy objects believed to be material left over from the formation of the solar system. Elsewhere above Mars, a joint U.
This spike occurred at a substantially lower altitude than the normal density peak in the Martian ionosphere. The increased ionization, like the effects observed by MAVEN, appears to be the result of fine particles from the comet burning up in the atmosphere. Images from the instrument were smeared by the passage of the radar signals through the temporary ion layer created by the comet's dust. SHARAD scientists used this smearing to determine that the electron density of the ionosphere on the planet's night side, where the observations were made, was five to 10 times higher than usual.
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