Images of the surface of Mars, which were made by a camera high-resolution HiRISE, installed on board the Space Station Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, have allowed scientists to detect signs of recent earthquakes on the red planet.
Using this data, Gerald Roberts, a researcher from the University of London studied boulders ranging in size from two to 20 meters along the fault system called Furrow Cerberus, which crosses the plain of lava age tens of millions of years. Several boulders left behind a particular track in a granular soil, fell down a cliff.
A detailed study of these tracks and the nature of changes that provoked their fall, revealed that they have fallen since seismic activity, except for some other reason, such as the melting of ice. The researchers note that the size and number of boulders roll down increased when moving to the center of the fault Cerberus.
"This confirms the hypothesis that the shift was due to the boulders shake the soil, and the power it decreased with increasing distance from the source" marsotryaseniya "- said Roberts.
Since the size of the boulders was about 200 miles long, experts believe that the magnitude of the quake was approximately seven units. Characteristic signs of falling boulders indicate that "marsotryasenie" happened recently, or the wind quickly destroyed them.
The level of wind erosion on Mars, such as very high: the traces that have been left by U.S. rovers, dust brought it in a few years. Based on these assumptions, the researchers concluded that an earthquake of such capacity may occur on Mars right now.
Australian scientists involved in modeling climate conditions on Mars in order to further identify the possible existence of life on the planet, last week said that, perhaps, in the "large regions" could well have supported microbial life.