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NASA’s InSight Lander Reports Tremors On Mars Called Marsquakes

NASA’s InSight Lander has reportedly recorded hundreds of tremors on Mars known as Marsquakes and while many are benign, some are quite significant. This find could mean more to space explorers.


The InSight Lander, which is an acronym for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport was launched on 26th November 2018. Now after traveling for 483 million kilometers, its reports are available.


As reported by The Verge, results of the mission were published on Monday in the journals Nature Geoscience and Nature Communications. It revealed reports of quakes on the planet Mars since April 2019.


While there were lots of quakes — numbering into hundreds — only about 24 are of any significance. According to Philippe Lognonné, the principal investigator on the device’s instrument:


“Mars is a place where we can probably say the seismic hazard is extremely low.”

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Most of the recorded quakes would have gone unnoticed on earth if it happened here. Also, while the significant ones would have had an impact on the earth, it didn’t do anything on Mars.


This is because, Marsquakes happened deep in the earth — as far below as 30 to 50 kilometers. Bruce Banerdt another InSight principal investigator said that the cause of the individual quakes is unknown. However, he explains that generally, long-term cooling of the planet can lead to quakes.


A Wikipedia article points to the fact that prior to detecting Marsquakes, scientists had found quakes on the Moon and Venus as well. It further explained why Marsquakes are important to research:


“The detection and analysis of marsquakes could be informative to probing the interior structure of Mars, as well as identifying whether any of Mars’s many volcanoes continue to be volcanically active or not.”


InSight NASA Lander Marsquake
InSight Lander on the Moon. Photo: Smithsonian Magazine.


However, researchers are not volunteering any speculations yet. But the InSight’s mission is still ongoing for one more year and hopefully, by then, scientists will have enough data for hypotheses.


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Onwuasoanya Obinna

A reader of books and stringer of words. Passionate about Science and Tech. When not writing or reading he is surfing the web and Tweeting.

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