NASA’s InSight lander detects largest ever Marsquake

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NASA’s InSight lander detects largest ever Marsquake

  • NASA has reported that its InSight Mars lander has detected the largest quake ever observed on another planet.
  • The rover first landed on Mars in November 2018, and has since heard 1,313 quakes.
  • The largest previously recorded “marsquake” was detected in August 2021.

About Marsquakes

  • On Earth, quakes are caused by shifts in tectonic plates.
  • Mars, however, does not have tectonic plates, and its crust is a giant plate.
  • Therefore, ‘marsquakes’ are caused due to stresses that cause rock fractures or faults in its crust.
  • Significance: This quake is sure to provide a view into the planet like no other.
  • Scientists will be analysing this data to learn new things about Mars for years to come.

About InSight lander

  • It is studying the composition of Mars , how its material is layered, and how much heat seeps out of it.
  • Importance: Earth and Mars used to be similar warm, wet and shrouded in thick atmospheres before they took different paths 3-4 billion years ago.
  • Mars stopped changing, while Earth continued to evolve.
  • With InSight, scientists hope to compare Earth and Mars, and better understand how a planet’s starting materials make it more or less likely to support life.

Exam Track

Prelims Takeaway

  • Marsquake
  • Insight lander
  • Perseverance
  • Hope mission
  • Tianwen-1