Monitoring Quakes on Mars
For the first time, NASA's Mars Insight Lander has measured and recorded a likely "marsquake."
On this News Buzz edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with Bill Barnhart, Assistant Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Iowa, about what it means to have an "earthquake" on another planet.
According to Barnhart, the Mars Lander detected a quake on April 6th using its seismometer. This is the largest of the four quakes that has been detected since the Lander was deployed in November 2018.
Compared to earthquakes, marsquakes are barely perceptible.
"The event that was detected in early April is extraordinarily small. Here on Earth, we likely would not have been able to have detected it because of all of the seismic noise caused by things that exist on the Earth that don't exist on Mars," Barnhart says. "Mars is about a thousand times more seismically quiet than the Earth is."
Barnhart says that while the impact of the quake to the planet was small, the data recorded will be able to help us better understand structure of the interior of the red planet. While we know Mars has a core and mantel like Earth does, the information from this marsquake will help us better understand how big these layers are and what they are made of.
Other conversations during the hour include:
- Jason Clayworth and Courtney Crowder of the Des Moines Register talk about their recent investigation into allegations of discrimination in Iowa's 4-H organization.
- Jennifer Zwagerman, associate director of the Drake Agricultural Law Center gives insight on potential legal challenges to the latest version of Iowa’s "ag-gag" law recently signed into law by Gov. Kim Reynolds.
- IPR statehouse reporter Katarina Sostaric talks about the week's news from the Iowa statehouse.
- IPR western Iowa reporter Katie Peikes shares the story of business owners in Hamburg who are just now seeing the damage from recent flooding in the area.