First Detection of a ‘Quake’ on Mars ‘Kicks Off a New Field of Mars Seismology’
April 25, 2019 (EIRNS)—For the first time, a seismic event from inside a planet has been detected, on Mars. On April 6, a very faint seismic event, equivalent to a 2.5 magnitude earthquake, was detected by the French seismometer aboard NASA’s InSight lander. The event on Mars “is exciting because its size and longer duration fit the profile of moonquakes detected on the lunar surface during the Apollo missions,” said Lori Glaze from NASA headquarters. Unlike earthquakes which are caused by plate tectonics, quakes on the Moon and Mars are caused by “a continual process of cooling and contraction that create stress,” and eventually causes a break in the crust, NASA explains.
The job of InSight is to penetrate into Mars’ interior and shed light on the thickness and composition of its crust, mantle, and core. Discovering how tremors propagate can contribute to that picture. The April 6 quake, the scientists report, is a start, but was too small to provide much information. They are patiently waiting for “the big one.”