Rumble On Mars: NASA's InSight Lander Detects First "Marsquake"

Science

The InSight probe which landed on Mars on November 2018, first picked up a faint rumble on April 6, 2019, which marks the 128th Martian day or sol, of the mission. This is the first seismic signal detected on any planetary surface apart from the Earth and its moon.

Written By Suchitra Karthikeyan | Mumbai | Updated On:

Inching closer towards Elon Musk's dream of colonizing Mars, NASA's InSight lander, on Wednesday, has detected the first 'Marsquake', indicating the possibility of the red planet having similar seismicity to our home planet- Earth.

The InSight probe which landed on Mars on November 2018, first picked up a faint rumble on April 6, 2019, which marks the 128th Martian day or sol, of the mission. This is the first seismic signal detected on any planetary surface apart from the Earth and its moon.

Scientists have speculated the source of the 'Marsquake' could be due to a crack inside the red planet or the vibrations due to a meteorite impact.

The InSight lander was launched by NASA to identify multiple quakes on Mars, which would present a clearer understanding of the planet's interior rock structure. The results can then be compared with Earth's internal rock layers to learn the similarities and differences in which these two planets have evolved through time.

Scientists who have studied the rumble recorded by InSight probe report that the signals remind them very much of the type of data the Apollo sensors gathered on the lunar surface. 

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory which manages many of NASA's robotic missions exploring Earth, the solar system and our universe, had tweeted a recording of the rumble listing the various sounds in the recording as 'Mars wind, likely marsquake and Robotic arm.'

The probe's mission is scheduled to last more than two earth years. Seismograph experts hope that by that time, InSight should record another dozen or so seismic signals in the initial operating period.

This is what the InSight lander looks like:

Twitter fans have been celebrating the consequences of the 'Marsquake'

 

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