Yesterday NASA detected a quake of small magnitude on Mars which opens door to a new field of study. This was the first ever Marsquake to be recognized by devices on the Red neighbor.
A dome-shaped probe known as SEIS docked on Mars in December after hooking a ride on NASA’s Insight spacecraft. Its tools measure vibrations caused by weather on the planet. It’s also capable of identifying drifts from deep inside the planet.
What caused the Marsquake?
We all know that earthquakes are caused by the movement of tectonic plates below Earth’s surface but what about Mars? Do they have similar tectonic plates like earth? Surprisingly, the answer is ‘NO.
The prevailing verdict among geologists is that Mars and the Moon don’t have anything to do with tectonic plates at all. On Mars, scientists presume that quakes were caused by the gradual cooling of the planet’s core over millions of ages that may trigger occasional quakes as energy flowed through the planet’s interior.
As the insides of the planet cool, it shrinks in size, causing the outer crust to crack; this is speculated to be the cause for “Marsquake. The SEIS has recorded the sound of the quake. Its impact was so faint if it happened on the earth it would even go undetected. We were able to hear everything because Mars is so quiet.
What to expect?
Bruce Banerdt of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory says,
“We’ve been collecting background noise up until now, but this first event officially kicks off a new field: Martian seismology!”
The identification of a Marsquake is big news definitely, but its continued mission is quite the trial: to examine the fabrication of Mars’s interior.
More discoveries in the future and examination of these discoveries will help unveil further about the planet’s characteristics. This is solid evidence that the SEIS work as planned. It’s a colossal achievement of technical betterment, given how faint the tremors are – it’s a technology we can proceed to perfect into the future.