What Do They Call Earthquakes on Other Planets?

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I completely missed out on Tuesday's earthquake. I was riding public transportation in Philadelphia and uncontrollable shaking is to be expected. But all this talk about earthquakes made us wonder—what do they call seismic activity on other planets? Are there jupiterquakes? Uranusquakes?

It turns out, there are not.

First of all, not all planets are as geologically active as ours. There is evidence of seismic activity on Mars and maybe on Venus. Some of Jupiter's moons and Saturn's moon are tectonically active and may have seismic activity, too. Our own moon also is seismically active. But definitely no uranusquakes.

Even on the moon and Mars, though, seismic rumblings are still called earthquakes, because the term refers to earth in the sense of raw dirt, not Earth the name of the planet.

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August 25, 2011 - 12:07pm
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