NASA’s InSight Mars Lander has recorded the largest earthquake in its history on Mars.
According to new research published in the American Geophysical Union (AGU) journal Geophysical Research Letters, the international team said that on the terrestrial night of May 4, the lander’s seismometer detected an earthquake that was at least five times more larger than the next largest on record. on the red planet
“This was definitely the biggest marsquake we’ve ever seen,” Taichi Kawamura, lead author and a planetary scientist at the Institut de physique du globe in Paris, France, said in a statement.
Co-author and seismologist John Clinton, from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, said the energy released by the single marsquake is equivalent to the cumulative energy of all other marsquakes seen so far.
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Clinton, who is co-lead with Kawamura on the Martian Earthquake Service, said the waves recorded on InSight were so large they nearly saturated the seismometer.
The waves of the marsquake last about 10 hours.
No previous marsquake wave had exceeded the duration of an hour.
The previous largest tremor, recorded in August 2021, had a magnitude of 4.2, while the May quake had a magnitude of 4.7.
The epicenter of the earthquake was outside the most seismically active region on Mars.
This seismic event was also rare in that it exhibited characteristics of both high and low frequency earthquakes.
Data from this large earthquake were released in October by the Mars Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS) data service, NASA Planetary Data System (PDS), and the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS), along with the marsquake service catalog.
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Seismology on Mars can help researchers better understand what lies below its surface and its evolution.
It is believed that most earthquakes occur due to fault movement.
InSight is believed to be nearing its end of operation as dust has progressively covered its solar panels and reduced power.
“We are impressed that near the end of the extended mission, we had this very remarkable event,” Kawamura said.
Based on the data collected from the marsquake“I would say that this mission was an extraordinary success,” he continued.
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“My power is really low, so this may be the last image I can send. Don’t worry about me though – my time here has been productive and serene. If I can keep talking to my mission team, I will.” , but I’ll be shutting down here soon,” Insight’s 25 to 30-person team posted on the lander’s Twitter account Monday. “Thank you for staying with me.”
Since it touched down in November 2018, the lander has provided information about the liquid core of Mars and the composition of its other inner layers. It has detected hundreds of earthquakes.
Fox News’ Paul Best contributed to this report.
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