NASA InSight Lander Gives Hint Of How Mars Quakes Sound

Gray dome at the end of a long flat cable on gray sandy surface with clouds flying overhead

Gray dome at the end of a long flat cable on gray sandy surface with clouds flying overhead

Out of more than 100 events detected to date, about 21 are strongly considered to be quakes, NASA said. The remainder could be marsquakes as well, but members of the InSight science team hasn't ruled out other causes.

Since docking on the Red Planet in December, the InSight lander's sensitive seismometer has kept an ear to the ground, listening for "marsquakes".

Its sensitive seismometer, created to listen for marsquakes, can pick up vibrations as subtle as a breeze, and recorded its first seismic rumbling in April.

Since the quakes are far below the human range of hearing, the recordings collected by the "very broad band sensors" from SEIS and NASA's producers speeded them up and slightly processed them to make them audible through headphones, according to NASA. SEIS calculated their magnitude to be around 3.7 and 3.3, respectively.

"Both events suggest that the Martian crust is like a mix of the Earth's crust and the Moon's".

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"Cracks in Earth's crust seal over time as water fills them with new 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.

The government agency added that SEIS has had no issues identifying the quakes, but because of how sensitive it is, it has to filter out a lot of background noise, while identifying different sounds.

Grab your headphones: NASA shared two more seismic events from the surface of Mars.

Evenings also provide some peculiar sounds-dubbed "dinks and donks"-that likely come from the delicate parts within the seismometer expanding and contracting against one another".

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