Scientists Discover Two New "Marsquakes"

Scientists at the California Institute of Technology's Jet Propulsion Laboratory have discovered two new sizable seismic events on Mars. Over the weekend, NASA researchers revealed they've discovered two separate "marsquakes," with 3.3 and 3.1 magnitudes.

The latest tremors come around one Martian year — two Earth years — after NASA's InSight Lander detected some of the largest seismic activity yet, quakes magnitude 3.6 and 3.5.

“Over the course of the mission, we’ve seen two different types of marsquakes: one that is more ‘Moon-like’ and the other, more ‘Earth-like,’” said Taichi Kawamura of France’s Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris. Kawamura's team helped from the InSight Lander with its seismometer.

"Interestingly all four of these larger quakes, which come from Cerberus Fossae, are ‘Earth-like,'" Kawamura added.

With the latest data, the group behind InSight hopes to get a better understanding of Mars' mantle and core in a a mission completely separated from NASA's ongoing Perseverance mission.

“It’s wonderful to once again observe marsquakes after a long period of recording wind noise,” seismologist John Clinton added in NASA's release. “One Martian year on, we are now much faster at characterizing seismic activity on the Red Planet.”

The two latest quakes happened on March 7th and March 18th, during Mars' northern summer. Scientists say this time of the Martian year is best for seismic activity because winds across the planet are calmer.

It wasn't but two months ago when NASA's Perseverance mission revealed the first photos from the Jezero Crater, where scientists hope to find signs of microbial life.


“This landing is one of those pivotal moments for NASA, the United States, and space exploration globally – when we know we are on the cusp of discovery and sharpening our pencils, so to speak, to rewrite the textbooks,” acting NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk in a press release said at the time. “The Mars 2020 Perseverance mission embodies our nation’s spirit of persevering even in the most challenging of situations, inspiring, and advancing science and exploration. The mission itself personifies the human ideal of persevering toward the future and will help us prepare for human exploration of the Red Planet in the 2030s.”

Perseverance is expected to remain on the Martian planet until at least 2031.