New scientific research reveals that a massive earthquake struck the planet Mars last year, with scientists considering the reason behind the earthquake to be unexpected.
An international team led by planetary physicist Benjamin Fernando from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom reported that the earthquake was discovered by NASA‘s InSight spacecraft on May 4, 2022, and it registered a magnitude of 4.7.
The researchers, in a study published in the Geophysical Research Letters, identified the source of the giant earthquake that hit the “Red Planet” as tremendous tectonic activity in the Martian crust, stating, “This is unexpected because Mars does not have tectonic plates.”
Fernando was quoted by “Science Alert” as saying, “We still believe that Mars does not have any active tectonic plates today, so it is likely that this event resulted from the release of pressure within the Martian crust.”
He added, “These pressures are the result of billions of years of evolution, including expansion and contraction in different parts of the planet.”
InSight spent about 4 years on Mars monitoring the planet’s interior, during which it detected hundreds of earthquakes and tremors. Some of these were the result of space rocks colliding with the Martian surface, while others were linked to volcanic activity, revealing that the “Red Planet” is not entirely lifeless inside, as previously thought.