NASA InSight lander “Mars” on Mars detected two clearer earthquakes on the “Red Planet”, both from the same area as the mission’s previous best observations.
The robotic geophysicist landed on Mars in November 2018. After months of preparation, its seismometer began to feel the so-called “earthquakeThe mission found more than 500 earthquakes in its first year on Mars, but recently, high winds prevented scientists from needing to detect a clear signal of small rumbles in the “red planet.” Now, the weather has improved. In March, mission personnel detected two earthquakes with an intensity greater than 3.0.
Seismologist John Clinton, the head of InSight Seismic Services at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), said: “It is great to observe earthquakes again after recording wind noise for a long time. Said in a statement. “One year has passed on Mars, and we are now much faster in characterizing seismic activity on the Red Planet.”
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InSight discovered two new earthquakes on March 7 and March 18, both in an area called Cerberus Fossae.That is The two biggest earthquakes In the first year of the earthquake, InSight’s first year on Mars was also found, which indicates that the area is particularly active.
According to NASA, scientists are particularly interested because these four earthquakes also seem to be geophysically matched. “During the execution of the mission, we have seen Two different types of earthquakesTaimura Kawamura, a seismologist at the Institute of Geophysics in Paris, France, said in a statement: “One is more like the moon and the other is more like the earth.” The earthquake from Cerberus Fossae is similar to the “earth”. “
At the same time, the lander is also performing a mission, and scientists hope that the mission will enhance the observation of earthquakes while the mission continues for another Martian year (lasting approximately 687 Earth days). The mission staff suspected that the dramatic temperature changes on Mars from day to night may produce “popping sounds and spikes” in the seismograph data, because the cables connecting the instrument to the main lander are expanding and contracting.
To try to buffer the cable from these changes, the InSight team is using the lander’s robotic arm to soil the Martian soil onto the cable.
However, NASA warns that this is a difficult time for landers powered by solar panels.The worst weather on earth Sandstorm season It’s over, but despite the strong winds in the area, InSight’s lily leaf panels are still covered in dust. At the same time, the red planet is gradually moving away from the sun along its elliptical orbit, thereby reducing power generation. The lander is winter, which means that the low temperature threatens the robot’s electronic equipment.
In this case, the mission team expects to temporarily put the lander and its instruments into sleep mode later this spring to resolve these energy shortages. In July, the orbit of Mars will begin to bring it back to the sun and reduce the pressure on the InSight system.
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