Earthquakes on Mars have been a frequent topic in the recordings of surface activity that NASA, ESA, and other space agencies make. Understanding the formation of the Solar System is essential to knowing the Red Planet, so far the only place where life as we know it evolved.
Astronomy and science in general pay a lot of attention to Mars, because of the possibility of life on this place in the future. There is also an option to find out that there was life in the past.
Furthermore, Mars is a realistic option for a manned mission that would take a person to another planet for the first time in history. While all this is happening around our neighbor in the Solar System, NASA and ESA scientists have recorded the strongest earthquake since rovers have operated on its surface.
They managed to record the event that exposed it as a rocky world like ours, and revealed data about its crust.
Powerful earthquakes recorded during the final year of NASA’s Mars InSight mission have allowed researchers at ETH Zurich to gain invaluable information about the Red Planet’s crust.
The results showed that on average, the crust of Mars is much thicker than that of our own planet and the Moon. Furthermore, the main source of heat on Mars was found to be radioactive in nature.
The earthquake in question was recorded in May 2022, and its seismic waves traveled up to three times the Martian surface.
The experts then relied on these surface waves to determine the global average thickness of the Martian crust. They also found that the density of the crust is similar in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, although there is a great difference in its thickness.
Seismic velocities provided important information about the internal structure of Mars at different depths. Previous observations of seismic waves generated by meteorite impacts have enabled regional searches, but this new discovery marks the first time that a global view of the seismic structure of Mars has been obtained.