The first-ever seismic signal to be measured on Mars has been reported by scientists monitoring NASA’s InSight mission. Researchers believe that the tiny “Marsquake” originated from within the planet rather than being the result of wind or other surface phenomena. Studying the seismology of Mars should provide important information about the interior of the planet and how it was formed.
The quake was detected on 6 April by a seismometer called SEIS, which InSight had placed on the Martian surface in December 2018. A weaker signal had been detected about three weeks earlier, but its origin is unclear. Signals with ambiguous origins were also measured on 10 and 11 April.
It’s so exciting to finally have proof that Mars is still seismically active
“We’ve been waiting months for a signal like this,” says Philippe Lognonné of the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris in France – who leads the team that built SEIS. “It’s so exciting to finally have proof that Mars is still seismically active.”
Quieter than Earth
Mars is not the first place that scientists have detected extraterrestrial seismic activity. Five seismometers operated on the Moon between 1969 and 1977 and measured thousands of “moonquakes”. ...