A marsquake is a violent shaking of the surface of Mars that occurs occasionally, just like on Earth. In 2022, the greatest marsquake ever recorded in history occurred, and scientists have now discovered its cause.
The notion that the marsquake was brought on by a meteor strike has been ruled out, according to a study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters on Tuesday. Scientists first hypothesized that the earthquake, which had a magnitude of 4.7, may have also been triggered by a meteoroid hit because of the seismic signal’s resemblance to earlier earthquakes that occurred. This sparked an immediate global search for a brand-new crater.
Mars is smaller than Earth, but because it lacks seas, it has roughly the same amount of terrestrial surface as our world. It was necessary to survey this enormous area of land, which is over 144 million square kilometers. The European Space Agency, the Chinese National Space Agency, the Chinese National Space Research Organization, the Indian Space Research Organization, and the United Arab Emirates Space Agency were all asked to contribute to that by the researchers.
According to the University of Oxford, this may be the first occasion that all probes in orbit around the red planet have worked together on a single undertaking.
The researchers revealed on Tuesday that no crater was identified on the Martian surface, despite months of thorough searching. Instead, they came to the conclusion that the planet’s interior released tectonic forces, which led to the marsquake. This may indicate that Mars is more seismically active than previously thought.
“Since we continue to believe that Mars does not now have any active plate tectonics, this event was probably brought on by the release of stress from Mars’ crust. According to Benjamin Fernando, the study’s lead author, “These stresses are the product of billions of years of evolution, including the cooling and shrinking of various portions of the planet at different rates. Fernando is employed with Oxford University’s Department of Physics.
Plans to send astronauts to Mars have been discussed by space agencies like the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and technologists like Elon Musk. We may be able to determine where it would be safe for people to land on Mars and where it would be preferable to delay a launch with the help of information from studies like this one.