Tuesday, May 17, 2022

The biggest ever quake detected on Mars

This adds to the catalog of more than 1,313 quakes InSight has detected.

NASA’s InSight Mars lander has detected the largest quake ever. The quake is estimated to be magnitude 5. The lander detected the quake on May 4, 2022, the 1,222nd Martian day, or sol, of the mission.

Until now, NASA‘s InSight Mars lander has detected more than 1,313 quakes on Mars since its landing. The largest previously recorded quake was a magnitude 4.2 that occurred on August 25, 2021.

A magnitude 5 earthquake is a medium-size quake by Earth standards, but it’s close to the upper limit of what scientists expected to detect on Mars during the InSight mission.

Bruce Banerdt, InSight’s principal investigator at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, which leads the mission, said“Since we set our seismometer down in December 2018, we’ve been waiting for ‘the big one. This quake is sure to provide a view into the planet like no other. Scientists will be analyzing this data to learn new things about Mars for years to come.”

The mission team is now palnning to study this new quake further before being able to provide details such as its location, the nature of its source, and what it might tell us about the interior of Mars.

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