NASA Insight Lander Records Monster Quake on Mars

DEFENCE, SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

NASA's InSight Mars lander has detected the largest quake ‘Monster Quake’ measured at magnitude-5 was detected on the surface of Mars by NASA's InSight Mars lander. The quake occurred on the 1,222nd Martian day of the lander's mission.

This is the strongest seismic event ever detected not only on Mars but on any planet other than the Earth, which surpassed the previous record quake. Previously, a 4.2-magnitude quake was recorded on the mars surface that took place in August 2021.

The reason for this marsquake is not yet known. 

In Earth terms, a magnitude 5 quake occurs half a million times per year and rarely causes serious damage. But the red planet (Mars) is tectonically much more peaceful, and a magnitude 5 quake is powerful.

By studying the seismic waves traveling across the Planet, scientists hope to learn more about the planet's different layers - crust, mantle, and core. This research can help scientists to know more about the formation of the planet.

Volcanic activity is also thought to be generating seismic waves on Mars, and experts continue to identify new patterns in the data that Insight and its seismometer have already logged and beamed back to Earth.

The Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) mission is a robotic lander designed to study the deep interior of the planet Mars. It was launched by NASA in May 2018. This lander was manufactured by Lockheed Martin Space Systems and maintained by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

 

   Important points for the exam:

  • A quake measured at magnitude 5 was detected on the surface of Mars by NASA's InSight lander. It was officially declared by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).
  • The quake occurred on the 1,222nd Martian day of the lander's mission. The reason for this marsquake is not yet known. 
  • This is the strongest seismic event ever detected not only on Mars but on any planet other than the Earth.
  • The previous strongest quake detected was a 4.2-magnitude quake on Mars in August 2021.
  • By studying the seismic waves travelling across the Planet, scientists hope to learn more about the planet's different layers - crust, mantle, and core. 

   Facts to know:

  • Mars is known as the ‘Red planet’.
  • No. of the natural satellites of Mars: 2 - Deimos and Phobos.
  • InSight lander: Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport.
  • InSight lander was launched by NASA in 2018.
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