Sunday, June 08, 2014

Wanderlust: Kayoed

The Solar System is comprised of the Sun, Jupiter, and other debris of creation. A portion of the debris are called planets; these are broadly classified as Gas Giants (Jupiter Saturn Uranus & Neptune ), and Terrestrials  (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars).

A planet usually has reasonably well-defined orbit. Smaller bodies have a well-defined orbit too, but are more liable to suffer perturbation from larger bodies. These smaller bodies are either comets, or asteroids.

Wikipedia has a great article on meteorites This article defines a meteorite as below

A meteorite is a solid piece of debris, from such sources as asteroids or comets, that originates in outer space and survives its impact with the Earth's surface.

But there are also the rare meteorites that may have originated on Mars. The wikipedia  article on Martian meteorite writes to say

On October 17, 2013, NASA reported, based on analysis of argon in the Martian atmosphere by the Mars Curiosity rover, that certain meteorites found on Earth thought to be from Mars were actually from Mars.

This raises a few questions in my mind

a. Do these martian meteorites contain significant quantities of extra-martian particles? (E.g. Those that belonged to the original asteroid/meteorite which impacted Mars, OR those that were collected during the course of it's journey through space)

b. How much velocity, and mass would the original meteorite have had to impart escape velocity to the rock? Is it possible to formulate these figures & say if a comet has mass X, and velocity Y it may impart escape velocity to Z mass of the impacted body?

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