March: a magnitude 5 earthquake recorded by the French seismometer SEIS

The balance March tremble. At the end of April, the French seismometer SEIS (Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure), which was deposited on Mars by the American probe InSighthad already recorded tremors with a magnitude greater than 4. On May 4, SEIS even recorded an earthquake of magnitude 5, the strongest ever detected on a planet other than Earth.

For NASA scientists, it could even be the Big One Martian, knowing that the red planet, devoid of active plate tectonics (to which we owe our enormous terrestrial earthquakes of magnitude 8 or 9), is not really predisposed to such tremors.

March SEIS

The SEIS seismometer on the ground of Mars, photographed from the InSight probe

Beyond this “record”, analyzes of SEIS data should better inform scientists about the internal structure of Mars. Since its deployment in December 2018, SEIS has detected 1,313 earthquakes (the vast majority of low magnitude), but the seismometer was mainly installed on the surface of Mars for the detection of this famous Big One. Objective achieved…

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