The First, But Possibly Not The Last
NASA’s Mars InSight lander has been roaming the Red Planet for a while and seems to have registered what scientist believe to be a marsquake for the first time. The trembling is understood to have come from inside the planet, rather than outside influences.
If the rumbling truly did come from inside the planet, then this really might be the first recorded evidence of a quake, not dissimilar to those found on Earth. The scientists in charge of analyzing the data sent by InSight understand that the quake was not caused by forces above the surface, such as wind.
128 Days And Counting
InSight’s lander has been loaded up with a SEIS (Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure) instrument to record more information about the Red Planet. The lander has been roaming the planet for 128 days, and finally, on April 6 it came up with the goods scientists back on Earth had been hoping for.
Up until that point, scientists had only really been picking up background noise, but they got the result they had been waiting on after several months. A new scientific field is seemingly created as people will be focusing on the seismology of Mars.
We Would Have Barely Felt It
The marsquake was so small it didn’t even give the researchers enough data to fully analyze. It was only really picked up because Mars’ surface is extremely quiet, so it meant that any slight change in the norm was noticed.
By comparison, the Earth’s surface is filled with seismic noise at a similar level, thanks to the oceans and weather. If the marsquake occurred on Earth, it would have been lost amongst everything else that happens.
The finding will allow scientists in the future to better map out what lies beneath the surface of Mars by measuring the sounds from below. It will be an important step in sending people to the Red Planet in the coming generations.