A seismometer placed by NASA’s InSight lander on Mars has detected the two largest Martian quakes to date. According to a new study, the magnitude 4.2 and magnitude 4.1 seismic events were. Both quakes were five times stronger than the previous largest seismic event on record.
Researchers now hope to learn more about Mars’ inner layers after studying the seismic data from these two events. Mars has been vital in scientists planning to colonize the planet. And these events can provide insight into whether sustainable human presence is feasible or not. Marsquakes are measured on a specific spectral magnitude scale, while earthquakes are calculated using the Richter scale.
The researchers traced the origin of the 4.2 magnitude earthquake (named S0976a) in the Valles Marineris, a vast network of canyons on Mars and one of the largest grappling systems in the solar system. Scientists had long believed that this area could be seismically active, but this event is the first confirmation of its seismicity.
The second 4.1 magnitude Mars earthquake (S1000a) was recorded 24 days after the first event, the Seismological Society of America said in a statement. This event was different from the first in that it marked the first time that Pdiff waves, small-amplitude waves that have crossed the core-mantle boundary, were detected on a seismometer planted by NASA’s Mars InSight lander mission.
The researchers couldn’t find its exact location, other than that it originated on the other side of Mars. This event was also special because the seismic energy it released was the longest recorded on Mars, at 94 minutes.
Compared to the rest of the seismicity detected by InSight, the two new quakes are true outliers, the researchers said.
“Not only are they the largest and most distant events, S1000a has a spectrum and duration unlike any other previously observed. They are truly remarkable events in the Mars seismic catalog,” said Anna Horleston of the University of Bristol. , a researcher on the project, whose research is published in the journal The Seismic Record of the Seismological Society of America.