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ars has been nicknamed a dead desert by many NASA professionals, so dead that it is not able to sustain any life even if it existed. Since the NASA InSight Mission deployed the SEIS seismometer on the surface of Mars in 2018, seismologists and geophysicists at ETH Zurich have been listening to the seismic pings of more than 1,300 marsquakes. This shows that the planet could be housing life through these geological signs.

The team of experts has been observing more unusual changes within the seismic scheme of things. Next to a structure that has previously been described as a “young volcanic fissure” are located epicenters. At the same time, a lot of dust is present which signifies geological evidence of volcanic activity that had occurred in the past 50,000 years.

“The darker shade of the dust signifies geological evidence of more recent volcanic activity – perhaps within the past 50,000 years — relatively young, in geological terms,”

Simon Stähler

Many of you may wonder why is such information only discovered now, yet researchers have been analyzing mars for over 60 years. Exploring the other planets in our solar system is not easy and Mars is the easiest out of them all. This is because Mars is the only planet on which scientists have ground-based rovers, landers, and now even drones that transmit data.

All the other planets including Mars have been researched using orbital imagery from orbital telescopes. We also need to take into consideration that these rovers have not even scratched 10% of Mars’s surface. We know that Mars was once very alive billions of years ago, at least from a geophysical sense when a good portion of the planet was filled with water.

Cerberus Fossae in context of its surrounds in the Elysium Planitia region of Mars near the equator. (Source: NASA MGS MOLA Science Team)

The tremors originating from the Cerberus Fossae, which is named after the “hell-hound of Hades” from Greek mythology and guards the underworld, indicate that Mars is still alive. Similar to the cracks that form on the top of a baked cake, the weight of the volcanic area is pulling the crust of Mars apart here by sinking and generating parallel graben (or rifts). Stähler speculates that what we are witnessing may be the last traces of this formerly active volcanic area or that the magma is already flowing eastward to the site of the next eruption.

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