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InSight scientists publish paper describing last year’s big Martian quakes

Figure 5: global map of located Martian quakes

The InSight science team has now published a paper [pdf] describing in detail what they gleaned from the two large earthquakes the lander detected on Mars last year, measuring 4.1 and 4.2 magnitudes.

The map above, figure 5 of their paper, marks their best estimate of the quakes’ locations, dubbed S0976a and S1000a. From the caption:

Mars surface relief map showing InSight’s location (orange triangle), the location of other located mars-quakes (magenta dots) that cluster around 30° distance, close to Cerberus Fossae, and S0976a, located within Valles Marineris just north of Sollis Planum. Because no back azimuth can be determined for S1000a, its location is predicted to be somewhere within the shaded region between 107° and 147° from InSight. The event’s preferred distance (116°) is marked with the white dashed line. The black dotted lines mark radii around InSight up to 80°.

A review of Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) high resolution images of that part of Valles Marineris where S096a occurred will likely uncover a whole bunch taken since last August, all attempting to detect any actual surface changes produced by quake. I think I’ll do that review, and see if I can spot something.

The paper also notes the uniqueness of S1000a, which lasted 94 minutes, the longest so far detected on Mars. The complexity of its signal also makes locating it difficult, though the most likely possible locations — indicated by the white dashed line in the map above — crosses through the Tharsis Bulge where Mars’ biggest volcanoes are found.

Sadly, InSight will likely shut down before the end of this year due to loss of power, so until another seismometer is sent there no further Martian quakes will be detected.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.

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