NASA’s Mars Insight probe has detected the largest earthquake ever observed on another planet: an estimated magnitude 5 earthquake that occurred on May 4, 2022.
This adds to the catalog of more than 1,313 earthquakes detected by InSight since it landed on Mars in November 2018. The largest earthquake ever recorded was an estimated magnitude of 4.2 detected on August 25, 2021.
InSight was sent to Mars with a highly sensitive seismometer, Submitted by the National Center for Space Studies (CNES) in France, to study the depths of the planet’s interior.
When seismic waves pass or reflect off the material in Mars’ crust, mantle, and core, they change in ways that seismologists can study to determine the depth and composition of these layers. What scientists are learning about the structure of Mars could help them better understand the formation of all rocky worlds, including Earth and the Moon.
A magnitude 5 earthquake is an earthquake of medium size compared to those felt on Earth, But it’s close to the maximum of what scientists expected to see on Mars during the InSight mission. The science team will need to study this new earthquake more before they can provide details such as its location, the nature of its source, and what it might tell us about the interior of Mars.
“Since we installed our seismometer in December 2018, we’ve been waiting for a ‘large seismometer,'” said Bruce Banerdt, InSight principal investigator at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, which directs, in a statement. “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 in the coming years.”
The big earthquake comes as InSight faces new challenges with its solar arrays, powering the mission. As InSight’s Mars site enters winter, there’s more dust in the air, reducing available sunlight. On May 7, 2022, the spacecraft’s available power drops below the limit that activates safe mode, in which the spacecraft suspends all but essential functions. This reaction is designed to protect the probe and can be repeated as the available energy slowly decreases.
Columbia will be part of NASA’s Artemis mission
On Tuesday, May 10, the government of Colombia will join the Artemis Accords of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA. According to information from diplomatic sources, these divisions seek to enhance cooperation in space exploration and exploitation on the Moon, Mars and other celestial bodies in order to promote interest in the universe.
Vice President Marta Lucia Ramirez will be responsible for signing these agreements in Washington.
These conventions They grew up with the Artemis Program, launched by the United States in 2017, with the goal of sending the first woman and first people of color to the Moon’s south pole by 2025.
*With information from Europa Press.