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NASA REPORTS, THE STRONGEST EARTHQUAKE OFF EARTH 2022

 


This is an estimated magnitude 5 tremor that occurred on May 4, 2022.







NASA's InSight Mars lander detected the largest earthquake ever observed on another planet: an estimated magnitude 5 tremor that occurred on May 4, 2022.


This adds to the catalog of more than 1,313 earthquakes that InSight has detected since landing on Mars in November 2018. The largest previously recorded earthquake was an estimated magnitude of 4.2 detected on August 25, 2021.


And it is that, since the space module landed on the red planet, InSight has detected more than 1,313 earthquakes, the one detected on August 25, 2021 with a magnitude of 4.2 being the largest recorded to date.


A magnitude 5 earthquake is a moderate earthquake compared to those felt on Earth, but it's close to the limit of what scientists expected to see on Mars during the InSight mission. "This earthquake is sure to provide a view of the planet like no other. Scientists will analyze this data to learn new things about Mars for years to come," added Banerdt.


As seismic waves pass through or reflect off material in Mars' crust, mantle, and core, they change in shapes that seismologists can study to determine the depth and composition of these layers. What scientists learn about the structure of Mars can help them better understand the formation of all rocky worlds, including Earth and its Moon.


"This earthquake is sure to provide a view of the planet like no other. Scientists will analyze this data to learn new things about Mars for years to come."

This quake comes as InSight faces new challenges such as airborne dust kicking up on Mars as it now enters the winter season. These particles reduce the sunlight needed to charge the solar panels that power the module, which is working on an extended mission that will last until December. On May 7, its energy fell below the limit that activates the safe mode, where the spacecraft suspended all functions except essential ones, a situation that could happen more times in the future.


Until now, the Earth is the only known planet with tectonic plates that, by shifting, moving and colliding with each other, cause earthquakes. So how do these occur on Mars? Think of a single giant plate that has faults and fractures inside it because the red planet continues to shrink as it cools. This puts pressure on the Martian crust, stretching and cracking it and causing these seismic movements.


After the lander completed its primary mission in late 2020 and met its original science goals, NASA extended the mission through December 2022.



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