The national center for space studies (Cnes) has unveiled a recording of the largest earthquake ever recorded on the planet Mars.
New document from the red planet. The US Space Agency’s (Nasa) InSight lander recorded an earthquake in the middle of the night on May 4. Measuring 5 on the Richter scale, it is the strongest earthquake ever detected on Mars, according to NASA. The machine’s French Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS) seismometer collected the recording of the phenomenon, which occurred at 4:00 a.m. (01:27 a.m. French time).
— CNES (@CNES) May 12, 2022
The National Center for Space Studies (Cnes) unveiled the extract Thursday on social networks. “This sound comes from a mechanical recording of vibrations. It was amplified and sped up to become audible. This is not what you would have heard on the spot, but this representation gives depth to the SEIS graph”, explained the institute on Twitter. On the Martian scale, the InSight robot was at a relatively close distance from the epicenter (2,250km) when it recorded the event. Ideal conditions for Philippe Lognonné, scientific manager of the SEIS instrument and professor at the University of Paris Cité. “This short epicentral distance and the very high magnitude explain the magnitude of the signal, and the fact that the body waves but also the surface waves are so clear. This earthquake is in a way a gold mine for not only confirming our internal structure models but also improving them!” he said.
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The Frenchman’s mission was supposed to end in December 2020, but it was extended several times by NASA. Since the end of 2018, his work has recorded more than 1,300 Martian earthquakes. The strongest recorded before that of May 5 was magnitude 4.2 and occurred on August 25, 2021.