An estimated magnitude 5 earthquake occurred on May 4, 2022, the 1,222nd Martian day, and was the largest quake ever observed on another planet. Since landing on Mars, InSight has detected more than 1,300 earthquakes. An estimated magnitude 4.2 was detected on August 25, 2021.
The seismometer that was sent to Mars was provided by France's Centre National d'Études Spatiales. Seismologists can study the depth and composition of the layers in Mars by studying how the waves change as they pass through. The structure of Mars can help scientists understand the formation of all rocky worlds, including Earth and its moon.
A magnitude 5 earthquake is close to the upper limit of what scientists hoped to see on Mars, but it is a medium-size quake compared to those felt on Earth. The science team will need to study this new earthquake further before they can give us details about its location, the nature of its source, and what it might tell us about the interior of Mars.
Since we set our seismometer down in December, we have been waiting for the big one. For years to come, scientists will be analyzing this data to learn new things about Mars.
The solar panels that power the mission are facing new challenges as a result of the large earthquake. There is more dust in the air on Mars as the winter season begins. The lander's available energy fell just below the limit that triggered safe mode on May 7, 2022. As power slowly decreases, this reaction may occur again.
NASA extended the mission after the lander completed its prime mission at the end of 2020.Citation: NASA's InSight records monster quake on Mars (2022, May 10) retrieved 10 May 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-05-nasa-insight-monster-quake-mars.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.