December 9, 2022

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Earthquake on Mars due to the impact of space rocks

Earthquake on Mars due to the impact of space rocks

On Christmas Eve last year, a 4.0-magnitude earthquake was measured on the planet Mars. Scientists who investigated Thursday’s earthquake concluded that it was caused by the impact of a space rock. A crater larger than a football field and more than 20 meters deep was formed by this impact.

A French instrument on the US spacecraft Marslander InSight from NASA has recorded more than 1,300 earthquakes on Mars in the past four years. According to the New York Times, the earthquake recorded on Christmas Eve was unlike any previous earthquake because the tremors were recorded along the outer crust of the red planet. “We were immediately excited about it,” scientist Mark Banning told the newspaper. The impact of the space rock, which was estimated to be between 4.9 and 11.9 meters wide, created a 150-meter-wide crater 3,500 kilometers away where the Mars Insight lander was located on the planet.

Images from the Mars Exploration Orbiter (MRO), an unmanned NASA spacecraft, showed the impressive crater. Researcher Philip Logon describes the vision as “the largest meteor impact since scientific research has been conducted using seismographs.” The discovery helps scientists better understand the red planet and is a “reminder that Mars, like Earth, can collide with meteorites,” the New York Times wrote.

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