NASA lander detects first likely 'Marsquake' on the red planet

NASA lander detects first likely 'Marsquake' on the red planet

NASA may have recorded the first-ever "marsquake", thanks to its InSight lander.

The seismometer, developed by the French government agency National Centre for Space Studies, detected the first subtle quake-like rumble on April 6, according to a statement. There were four readings, of which one was confirmed to be a quake, said CNES. It attempts to meet this objective through a number of instruments on board. It's equipped with a range of instruments to take measurements of the planet's temperature, rotation and seismic activity.

The tremor was picked up by the lander's Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS), which had previously only registered background noise.

The team is also investigating three other signals picked up only by the low-frequency sensors - on 14 March (Sol 105), 10 April (Sol 132) and 11 April (Sol 133).

InSight's quake monitor recorded and measured the faint signal April 6, and scientists announced the finding Tuesday.

Quakes on Earth occur on faults created by the motion of tectonic plates.

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Just like Mars, the Moon is not tectonically active.

Now Zurich researchers will be analysing the data collected from the mysterious planet's interior.

"It starts to tell us how active Mars is", Banerdt says. His writing has appeared in numerous Canada's most respected and credible publications, including the Toronto Star, CBC News and on the cover of Smithsonian Magazine. And a discovery this big in its first year is a promising start. Mars and the moon do not have tectonic plates. However, huge rocks on and under the surface of the planet may still slide around because of gravity, and heat from the core may cause expansion, releasing gas and energy in the form of quakes.

InSight deployed its seismometer on the Mars landscape in mid-December 2018.

Science Minister Chris Skidmore said: "Detecting these quakes on a planet 140 million miles from Earth is a spectacular feat of science and engineering - a testament to the UK's world-leading science and engineering space sector, including our fantastic university research base".

While scientists suspected Marsquakes still exist, they didn't consider these rumbles to be as frequent as the ones we experience on Earth. According to scientists, the source of "Marsquake" could be due to a meteoric impact or some crack inside the planet. Earth, on the other hand, is vibrating constantly from seismic noise generated by oceans and the weather. The marsquake was similar. That could be because of the composition of Martian soil, scientists say.

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