Pictured: This image was taken by the InSight lander. The picture shows seismic testing equipment in the lander's internal structure (under the white dome). Since 2018, the seismometer has detected thousands of Martian earthquakes and recorded the largest earthquake ever recorded (magnitude 4.7).
There was an earthquake on Mars! The international research team has released the latest Mars seismic data recorded by NASA's InSight lander. Scientists noted that the InSight lander detected the largest Mars earthquake ever recorded, this time measuring 4.7, five times higher than previously recorded. Although this magnitude is insignificant for the magnitude of the Earth (of course, this magnitude can also make people feel the tremor), but this magnitude is the largest Martian earthquake to date on Mars.
At the same time, it also shows that the Martian geology is still active.
The Geological Society of America meeting was held in Chicago. It was at this meeting that researchers published details of Mars' largest earthquake. They have also published 3 peer-reviewed papers in geological research journals. The first focused on InSight's discovery, the second focused on surface fluctuations caused by Martian earthquakes, and the last studied the velocity of surface waves.
The Mars Internal Structure Seismic Experimental Data Service Center, NASA's Planetary Data System, Joint Research Institute for Seismology, and MQS catalog released data from the Mars earthquake. InSight monitored the quake through its in-house seismic test equipment.
The largest Mars earthquake ever recorded
Taiji Kawaharu, of the Institut Geophysics in Paris, France, who led the study, said: "There is no doubt that the earthquake that occurred is the largest magnitude earthquake we have detected so far. ”
Seismologist Johan from the Seismological Service Center Zurich, Switzerland. Clinton, a co-author of the study, added: "The energy released by this Martian earthquake is equivalent to the energy released by all previous Martian earthquakes combined. "Although the earthquake occurred 2,000 kilometers (about 1,200 miles) away from InSight, its fluctuations were so violent that they almost reached the peak of the seismometer.
The magnitude was five times the previous maximum
Compared to the largest magnitude data previously recorded, the magnitude of the Mars earthquake (4.7 magnitude) is 5 times that of the previous one. That Martian earthquake occurred in August 2021 with a magnitude of 4.2. The paper reads:
After three years of Mars seismic monitoring, the InSight seismic test facility detected the largest magnitude of Mars earthquakes since the mission. Compared to the previously detected magnitude, the seismometer showed a magnitude 5 factors higher than the previous magnitude. With the help of this geo-energy event, we discovered many geological features that had not been observed before. For the first time, we detected Martian body waves and surface waves through their overtones. These detected seismic data will help us understand the internal structure of Mars.
Figure: Since landing on Mars on November 26, 2018, InSight has begun exploring the surface and internal structure of Mars.
Clues about the internal structure of Mars
Detecting Mars' seismic activity also provides clues to scientists about Mars' internal structure. Scientists are able to explore information beneath the surface of Mars by studying seismically active surface waves. This is the first time scientists have been able to detect surface waves. Clinton said: After many mountains and mountains around Mars, we finally obtained the first surface wave of Mars.
Because the earthquake was large enough, the Martian surface wave lasted for more than 10 hours. Previous Martian earthquakes lasted less than 1 hour.
Located within the flat sheath of Mars, Shilulin is the most seismically active area on Mars, and this area is also where InSight landed. Interestingly, the epicenter of the earthquake was not in Shilulin, and the researchers were unable to link the Martian earthquake to any geological features. Perhaps, the relevant geological features are hidden deeper below the surface.
The paper reads:
Second, the earthquake occurred in Shilulin, a well-known seismically active area. This may indicate that this earthquake does not occur in the same way as other large earthquakes.
Recently, EarthSky also released evidence of a large number of hot lava mantle plumes underground in the flat sheath area. Researchers believe the mantle plume caused a lot of seismic activity, such as the Martian earthquake detected by InSight.
Different types of Martian earthquakes
There are generally two kinds of Martian earthquakes, one that appears as a high-frequency wave that vibrates quickly and briefly, and the other that is low-frequency, while the surface moves slowly and shows a greater amplitude. Strangely, the largest Martian earthquake detected this time has both of these characteristics. This is very rare on Mars. The researchers say this may indicate that the two types are different aspects of the same geological process. Still, researchers need to dig deeper to confirm this hypothesis.
Mars earthquakes show that Mars is still very active below the surface. Until then, most scientists agreed that Mars' geology was very stable.
Mission scientists also released vibration data from the impact of four meteoroids detected by InSight.
All indications are that the Martian geology is not very stable, but very active. In the future, we still need to continue to explore the actual activity of Mars. As Kawamura said, "Stay tuned for more great information." ”
BY: Paul Scott Anderson
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