A Quake On Mars!

OB Bureau

New Delhi: Can you believe it? There was a quake on Mars!

The InSight lander, which has fixed its ears to the Martian ground,  heard some of the biggest rumblings under the surface. A NASA probe detected the biggest and longest-lasting quake on Mars measuring a magnitude 4.2 that shook the ground for nearly an hour-and-a-half was recorded on September 18, India Today reported.

The quake is the third such big event recorded by the lander in just a month. InSight had detected two quakes of magnitudes 4.2 and 4.1 on its seismometer on August 25. NASA said that the September 18 quake of 4.2 had five times the energy of the mission’s previous record holder, a magnitude 3.7 quake detected in 2019.

Scientists are now trying to pinpoint the epicentre of the quake which they believe occurred too far to have originated where InSight has detected almost all of its previous large quakes. The previous quakes have been detected in Cerberus Fossae, a region roughly 1,609 kilometres away where lava may have flowed within the last few million years.

The InSight’s seismometer usually finds marsquakes at night, when the planet cools off and winds are low, however this time it was different. NASA in a statement said, “Despite their differences, the two August quakes do have something in common other than being big: Both occurred during the day, the windiest and, to a seismometer, noisiest time on Mars.”

Insight was designed to give the Red Planet, formed nearly four billion years ago, its first thorough checkup. It is the first outer space robotic explorer to study in-depth the “inner space” of Mars — its crust, mantle, and core. The lander reached its destination in 2018.
OB Bureau

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