Photo: NASA/Getty Images
Three years after listening to the soft rumble of Mars, the lander NASA Insight You have just captured the biggest “swamp” to date.
According to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the lander’s seismometer Detect a tremor of 5 on the Richter scale, very small and fairly quiet here on Earth, but clearly one of the most powerful tremors we will ever see on Mars.
Earthquakes occur when tectonic plates, the floating and moving parts of the Earth’s crust, collide or rub against each other, sometimes forming mountains and volcanoes in the process. However, Mars does not have plate tectonics, as its crust consists of a single solid plate..
however, Mars experiences earthquakes, often too. Since 2018: InSight has recorded more than 1,300 shakeswhich are believed to be caused by fractures in the crust caused by the cooling of the planet’s molten core.
Moreover, researchers from the Australian National University (ANU) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences have stated Moving molten rock under the surface of Mars It can also contribute to earthquakes.
no matter what, Earthquakes can reveal a lot of previously hidden things about the Red Planet. By detecting these seismic waves and locating their source, scientists can learn many things about the interior of Mars, such as the size and density of the mantle and core.
Prior to this month, the largest earthquake detected by InSight was a magnitude 4.2 earthquake detected in August 2021. However, as the Richter scale is logarithmic, the new standard earthquake of magnitude 5 is six times stronger.
This new landmark is likely to help scientists in the future learn more about the interior of Mars that may help answer some of the most pressing mysteries, such as the lack of plate tectonics and the nature of its core (which could be solid). that the ground or liquid).
In just three years of operation, NASA’s InSight program is already answering important questions about Mars’ crust, mantle, and core that scientists have been speculating about for decades, and there’s more to come.
Unfortunately, the probe faces serious technical difficulties. Since InSight first arrived on the planet, dust storms have intensified, disrupting solar arrays.
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