NASA InSight Lander Gives Hint Of How Mars Quakes Sound

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NASA's InSight lander has something interesting in store again. This time around, the lander has managed to pick up some rumblings on the Red Planet, which were later shared by the space agency.

NASA InSight Lander Gives Hint Of How Mars Quakes Sound

 

The Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS) incorporated with the spacecraft is equipped with a highly sensitive seismometer. It is built to record the marsquakes with the help of seismic waves that move within the planet. This will help scientists learn more about the inner structure of our neighboring planet.

InSight placed the seismometer on Mars in December last year however, it didn't detect any marsquakes until April this year. Ever since more than 100 such events have been recorded and 21 of them are "strongly considered to be quakes," NASA says.

NASA has also shared the sound recording of the two quakes that took place on May 22 and July 25. SEIS calculated their magnitude to be around 3.7 and 3.3, respectively.

The subtle tremors are below the human hearing range, so the space agency has processed them so they could be heard using headphones. The study on the quakes suggests that the crust of the Red Planet is similar to the blend of the Earth's and the Moon's crust.

On our planet, the crust is sealed when water fills it with minerals. The Moon's crust, however, stays damaged and the sound waves scatter for several minutes, unlike Earth's crust where the waves can travel uninterrupted. Mars' surface is similar to the Moon's and the seismic waves can long for a minute or so. However, on Earth, the quakes only last for seconds.

 

"It's been exciting, especially in the beginning, hearing the first vibrations from the lander," said Constantinos Charalambous, an InSight science team member at Imperial College London. "You're imagining what's really happening on Mars as InSight sits on the open landscape."

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