NASA have just recorded the first-ever “marsquake” on the Red Planet through seismometer, a device that measures quakes onto Mars’ surface and has been listening for quakes ever since.
Though scientists don’t know exactly what caused it, they think it was a marsquake, and not a disturbance caused by wind or other environmental conditions.
The reason for suspecting a marquake is that the signals picked up on the Red Planet were similar to those of moonquakes measured by Apollo missions in the past, according to the statement.
The InSight team is searching for marsquakes to better understand how rocky planets formed. The causes of quakes on Mars are different from those that cause temblors on Earth; marsquakes could help scientists understand what our planet looked like in its infancy.
As these vibrations move through the Red Planet, they bump into and reflect off of different materials underground. Scientists can use seismometer data to create a 3D view of the Martian interior which still holds hints of its early history.
This first potential marsquake was very small if it had happened on our planet, our devices wouldn’t even have registered the event; therefore, the Martian temblor won’t tell us much about the interior of the Red Planet.
Even so, it’s a thrilling first for the scientists involved.
“InSight’s first readings carry on the science that began with the Apollo missions,” Insight’s Principal Investigator Bruce Banerdt, a scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, said in the statement.
“We’ve been collecting background noise up until now, but this first event officially kicks off a new field: Martian seismology.”