NASA spacecraft has detected what’s believed to be a marsquake on planet Mars.
According to report from NASA, the space agency’s InSight lander, which touched down on Mars in November after a seven-month journey, sensed the seismic signal on April 6. Mission scientists are still working to confirm the source of the faint trembling, though it appears to have come not from the wind or movement of the lander’s robotic arm but from below the Martian surface. If confirmed, it would be the first seismic activity ever detected on Mars.
‘We’ve been collecting background noise up until now, but this first event officially kicks off a new field: Martian seismology!’ Bruce Banerdt, a geologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and the principal investigator of the InSight mission, said in a statement. The 800-pound lander is parked on the Elysium Planitia, a broad, mostly rock-free plain just north of the Martian equator. The lander is designed to operate on the surface of Mars for two years, learning about the Martian interior as a way to boost our understanding of the formation of Mars and other rocky worlds, including Mercury, Venus, Earth and the moon.