(ORDO NEWS) — NASA’s InSight probe again recorded two cases of seismic activity on Mars, with quakes reaching a magnitude of 3.3, the space agency said on Thursday.
According to NASA, the probe “felt” two strong shocks of magnitude 3.3 and 3.1 in the Cerberus Fossil area earlier in March, but this is only known today.
“The tremors recorded on March 7 and 18 (again) indicate that the Cerberus Fossils are an area of seismic activity (of the planet),” NASA said in a statement.
Earlier, more than 500 aftershocks were recorded in this area, the magnitude of the two strongest of them was 3.5 and 3.6 points.
As one of the leaders of the mission of the seismometer installed on the probe, Taichi Kawamura, representing the French Institute of Geophysics in Paris, said, during the ongoing research, the device recorded two types of marsquakes: similar to those that occur on Earth, and similar to lunar seismological phenomena. “It is noteworthy that the four largest shocks on Mars were similar to those on Earth,” the scientist said.
Two new strong quakes were detected almost two Earth years after a series of similar strong aftershocks (a Martian year is equal to two Earth years). Scientists suggest that this is due to the fact that it is in this season, when it is summer in the north of the planet, because of the lesser wind, it is easier for a seismometer to “hear” tremors under the planet’s surface.
The InSight probe landed in the Elysium Planitia region of Mars in November 2018. The device is designed to study the geological structure of Mars, for which it is equipped with a seismometer and other instruments.
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