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Two ‘Sizeable Quakes’ Recorded On Mars, NASA Says

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 04 Apr 2021 09:38
Two 'Sizeable Quakes' Recorded On Mars, NASA Says Pixabay/European Southern Observatory/M. Kornmesser

Two quakes were recorded on Mars last month by NASA’s InSight rover.

The two ‘strong, clear quakes’ reportedly occurred on March 7 and March 18 in a region called Cerberus Fossae, both with magnitude tremblors over 3.0.

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If you’re wondering what the big deal is about Mars having had two quakes, the fact that they happened supports the idea that the planet is seismically active.

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The location the quakes were recorded was same place the InSight rover had recorded other quakes earlier on in its mission in 2019. The area the quakes have been happening, Cerberus Fossae, is known for its steep-sided troughs and ancient volcanic plains.

March’s quakes had magnitudes of 3.3 and 3.1, while the previous ones measured in at 3.6 and 3.5, according to NASA. The rover has been on the Red Planet since November 2018.

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Discussing the quakes, Taichi Kawamura of France’s Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris said:

Over the course of the mission, we’ve seen two different types of marsquakes: one that is more ‘Moon-like’ and the other, more ‘Earth-like’. Interestingly, all four of these larger quakes, which come from Cerberus Fossae, are ‘Earth-like’.

It’s believed Cerberus Fossae could be a centre of seismic activity on Mars.

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As well as the location, according to NASA the quakes have another thing in common with the InSight rover’s previously recorded marsquakes: they occurred in the Martian northern summer, a time scientists have dubbed as perfect for listening for quakes due to the season’s calmer winds.

John Clinton, a seismologist who leads InSight’s Marsquake Service at ETH Zurich, said, ‘It’s wonderful to once again observe marsquakes after a long period of recording wind noise. One Martian year on, we are now much faster at characterizing seismic activity on the Red Planet.’

To date, InSight has recorded over 500 quakes on Mars but the four from 2019 and last month are supposedly the best recorded quakes to analyse because of the clear signals.

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: Science, Mars, NASA, Now, Space

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NASA and 1 other
  1. NASA

    NASA’s InSight Detects Two Sizable Quakes on Mars

  2. Mashable

    Two 'sizeable quakes' are recorded on Mars