- The strongest-ever quake to violently shake Mars arose not because of a crashing asteroid but rather the tectonic forces within the planet itself, scientists reported on Tuesday (Oct. 17).
- The new findings show the Red Planet is more seismically active than previously thought.
- On May 4, 2022, NASA’s now-retired In Sight lander recorded a magnitude 4.7 quake, five times stronger than the previous record holder of magnitude 4.2 that InSight measured in 2021.
- Unlike most marsquakes that cease within an hour, the reverberations from the summer quake continued for a record six hours, marking the strongest and longest quake ever recorded on another planet.
- A marsquake is a quake which, much like an earthquake, would be a shaking of the surface or interior of the planet Mars.
- It happens as a result of the sudden release of energy in the planet’s interior, such as the result of Plate tectonics, which most quakes on Earth originate from, or possibly from hotspots such as Olympus Mons or the Tharsis Montes.
- 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.