‘Marsquake’ study reveals surprisingly active planet

NASA's quake-hunting InSight mission has revealed a surprising amount of activity in Mars. A lander has dented seismic activity, a strong local wind and thousands of whirlwinds.

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National News

February 26, 2020 - 9:59 AM

The domed Wind and Thermal Shield covers InSight’s seismometer. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/TNS)

Mars may look dry and dusty from the outside, but it has a surprisingly vibrant inner life, according to new findings from NASA’s quake-hunting InSight mission.

The lander, which touched down on the red planet 15 months ago, has detected plenty of seismic activity, an unexpectedly strong local magnetic field and around 10,000 whirlwinds passing over the Martian surface.

The findings, published Monday in a suite of six papers in the journals Nature Geoscience and Nature Communications, will help scientists unlock the secrets of Mars’ interior and understand why it looks so different from Earth.

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