THEMIS Image of the Day, July 19, 2018. Today’s VIS image shows a double impact – two meteors hitting simultaneously. The two meteors would have started as a single object, at some point prior to impact the object separated into parts. The two parts followed the same path to the surface, hitting at the same time in close proximity.
The linear feature at the center is where the shock waves intersected, its straightness showing the impacts were simultaneous (and nearly equal in size).
The ejecta created from the impact tends to be focused to the sides of the doublet, often forming a butterfly-like ejecta blanket. The butterfly pattern is most common at oblique angle impacts, but can also form by the interaction of the impact shock waves. These craters are located in Utopia Planitia.
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