Jun 26, 2019 | Updated: 09:24 AM EDT

Marsquake Detected by NASA InSight Lander

May 23, 2019 08:55 AM EDT

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The Red Planet
(Photo : WikiImages on Pixabay)

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration -- The space probe roaming the surface of Mars has been feeding NASA scientists with data about the Red Planet. Just recently, the InSight Lander has recorded what scientists considered as a Marsquake.

In theory, Marsquakes have been happening over the years but the recent detection was the first one ever detected.

The scientists named the phenomenon as such because it mirrors the ground shakes that occur on Earth when the plates underground move during an "earthquake." It was on April 6 of this year that the gentle rumble from beneath the surface of Mars was felt.

"We have been waiting for a signal like this," said Philippe Lognonne, a member of the team governing the InSight lander. He also said that such shaking brought exciting news about the planet saying it has proven that the Red Planet is actually seismically active.

However, like that of the moon, Mars does not have tectonic plates underneath its surface. Also, studies show that it is not as seismologically active as the Earth. In their Twitter account, NASA posted a short audio clip of the vibrations with the intention to promote awareness of the developments regarding knowledge of the planet Mars.

"Up until now, the noise we've been collecting is that of background noise, but this new discovery officially opened the doors to a new field of study -- Martian Seismology!" said Bruce Bandert, lead scientist of the InSight. The researchers remain hopeful that the recent recording of the said marsquake will reveal more about how these rocky planets are formed.

At the moment, scientists are still analyzing the data they have collected about the planet through the InSight space lander. The said space probe has been collecting valuable data for NASA since November of 2018.

The spacecraft comes with a French-made seismometer, which has successfully touched the surface of Mars in December. In fact, there were three other seismic signals collected since mid-March but it is only now that the shaking was strong enough to be recorded. 

Another part of the Mars lander is a German-built instrument for drilling.In the future, the scientists hope that through the device, they would be able to drill into Mars and get a measurement of the internal temperature of the Red Planet. So far, the machine was only able to drill about 50cm into the surface. It has yet a long way to go.

The project with the InSight lander will cost NASA about $814 million in the next two years and the agency aims to collect as much data as they can through it. They remain hopeful that they will discover more about the planet and finally unveil the structure of the Red Planet which can prove helpful in better understanding the planet Earth.

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