Abstract:It is shown in this paper that five giant impact basins of Mars, Argyre, Hellas, Isidis, Thaumasia, and Utopia, are located on a single great circle. This suggests that the projectiles' orbital planes coincided with the equator of Mars at the time of impact. The projectiles were larger fragments of a heliocentric asteroid that broke apart as it entered the Roche limit of Mars. The mass of the asteroid was at least ∼9.8 × 1020 kg, ∼1.5 × 10−3 times the mass of Mars.
scite is a Brooklyn-based startup that helps researchers better discover and evaluate scientific articles through Smart Citations–citations that display the context of the citation and describe whether the article provides supporting or contrasting evidence. scite is used by researchers from dozens of countries and is funded in part by the National Science Foundation and the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health.