NASA’s Insight rover records two largest earthquakes in Martian history so far



A research team led by scientists from the University of Bristol, Britain, was able to detect two seismic events on the surface of Mars, the most powerful so far, 5 times more than the previous record, which could contribute to a better understanding of the layers of the Red Planet. interior.

just the studypublished on April 22 in the journal “The Seismic Record”, the researchers used the seismograph (seismograph) on board the “InSight” spacecraft of the US space and flight agency “NASA”. The surface of Mars in November 2018.

Insight aimed to study the geological processes that formed the rocky planets of the solar system during the past 4 million years, and uses Mars as a main model for this study, and was credited with the first ever monitoring of Martian earthquakes in 2019.

Insight aimed to study the geological processes that formed rocky planets (NASA)

The biggest so far

came in press release The Seismological Society of America, which is participating in the study, published that the first earthquake was named “S0976a”, which is the strongest so far, with a scale of 4.2 Richter, and it occurred on August 25, 2021. As for the second earthquake, it was named “S0976A”. 1000a” (S1000a) occurred 24 days after the first and had a magnitude of 4.1 Richter.

Both earthquakes occurred in the Valles Marineris region, which is a group of giant valleys and canyons on the surface of Mars, located approximately along the planet’s equator. kilometres.

False Mariners is one of the largest terrains in the solar system as a whole, which is a key feature of Mars images, as it appears from space as a deep crack in the planet’s body!


Previous studies in 2012 had indicated that the False Mariners is an active fault, i.e. a fault that is likely to be the site of future earthquakes, and then S0976A and S1000A were the first evidence of the validity of this hypothesis.

According to the new study, the second earthquake, “S1000A” in particular, is a unique addition to scientific research in this area, as it recorded the longest known period, as it lasted more than 94 consecutive minutes.

In addition, this earthquake recorded a different type of seismic waves passing through the planet’s core (called Pdiff waves) and this is the first time that it has been detected on the surface of Mars.

The waves of Mars earthquakes are reflected in the layers of the planet and are affected by them, while they pass to the measuring instruments on the Insight spacecraft (foreign press)

Mars earthquakes

In general, the main reason for the occurrence of earthquakes on Earth is the movements of the tectonic plates, which from time to time rub against each other and rupture between them, and the magnitude of this rupture is the strength of the earthquake. Tectonic plates are the upper crustal layers that are about 100 km to 150 km thick, and move slowly and permanently.

On Mars, there is no movement of tectonic plates, but there are other reasons that can lead to earthquakes on its surface, but not by the strength and rates of Earthquakes, such as cracks that occur in the planet due to its slight contraction caused by cold, or the fall of huge meteorites, or the rise of magma. Hot (magma) from the core of the planet and pressure on its surface from below.

Scientists hope that the results of the study of Martian earthquakes will help achieve a deeper understanding of the internal structure of the red planet, because its waves are reflected in the planet’s layers and are affected by them, while they pass to the measuring devices on the “Insight” spacecraft.



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