A few days ago, the InSight seismometer recorded for the first time a magnitude 5 earthquake on Mars. It is the most powerful earthquake ever detected on a planet other than Earth.
On May 4, the ground of Mars shook again. And what a shock! With a magnitude currently estimated at 5, this new earthquake has dethroned, by far, the two major previous earthquakes. It would also be the strongest tremor ever detected on another planet.
The Martian Big Earthquake finally detected?
If for the Earth a magnitude 5 is rather considered as average , the most powerful earthquakes being able to reach a magnitude of 9, the scientists consider however that 5 magnitude could be about the maximum magnitude that would be produced by the Red Planet.
Remember that Mars does not have currently active plate tectonics like Earth. However, it is this which is at the origin of the vast majority of powerful earthquakes. InSight might therefore have recorded the Martian Big earthquake!
An earthquake that should allow us to learn a lot more about the deep parts of Mars
New data which must at this time cause the excitement of the scientific community. Since InSight landed on Mars in November 2018, more than 1,313 earthquakes have been recorded, most of them small in magnitude.
However, by programming this mission, what the researchers hoped to detect was indeed an event of this magnitude. Because the more energy released at the time of the earthquake, the more the seismic waves propagate far and deeply, thus making it possible to “probe” the interior of the planet.. Already, the last major earthquake, of magnitude 4.2 detected in August 2021, had allowed the reception of waves having crossed the outer core of the planet.
We can therefore expect this new earthquake to bring a wealth of additional and unpublished information concerning the internal structure of Mars , in particular on the deepest parts of the mantle and on the core.
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