Saturday , April 17 2021

InSight only revealed its first "Marsh"

In November 2018, NASA Internal research using seismic investigations, geodesy and heat transport (InSight) landing on Mars. Shortly thereafter, he began to prepare for his scientific operations, which would consist of studying the seismology of Mars and its heat flow for the study of this planet – and all other terrestrial planets in the Solar System (like the Earth) – are formed and evolved overtime .

With scientific operations well underway, InSight "listens" to Mars to see what it can find out about its internal structure and composition. A few weeks ago, mission controllers found that the Seismic Experiment for Internal Structure (SIIS) has so far discovered the strongest seismic signal (ie "ship") to date. This weak earthquake can reveal much about the Red Planet and how it happened.

The weak seismic signal, detected by the seismic seismic experiment for the internal structure (SEIS), was observed on 6 April or on the 128th Martian day (Sol 128) after the ice had descended. This is the first recorded seismic signal that appears to originate from the interior of the planet, despite being caused by something like wind.

NASA scientists are now examining SEIS data to determine the exact cause of the signal, which may originate from Mars or was caused by a meteorite that fell on the surface of the planet and sent ripples across the mantle. On Earth, seismic activity (i.e., earthquakes) is a result of the action between tectonic plates, especially along the length of the mistakes.

While Mars and the Moon have no tectonic plates, they still experience tremors, which are largely due to the continuous warming and cooling of their surfaces. This causes expansion and contraction, which eventually results in stress strong enough to break the bark. While the new seismic event was too small to provide solid data on the Mars interior, the mission team gives an idea of ​​how seismic activity of Mars works.

For example, the weakness of this event is similar to that measured by Apollo astronauts during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Starting with Apollo 11, NASA Astronauts installed a total of five seismometers on the Moon's surface, which measured thousands of moons between 1969 and 1977. The data obtained from these sensors has allowed scientists to learn a lot about the internal structure and composition of the moon.

In this regard, InSight continues with a tradition that began with the Apollo missions. As Renee Weber, NASA Marshall Space Planet scientist, explains in a recent statement on NASA's announcement:

"We thought that Mars would probably be somewhere between the Earth and the Moon [in terms of seismic activity]. It's still very early in the mission, but looks a bit more like a moon like Earth. "

The artist interprets the InSight mission on the ground on Mars. Credit: NASA

Unlike the surface of the Earth, which constantly trembles from the seismic noise created by the oceans and time of the planet, the surface of Mars is extremely calm. This is provided by SEIS, which was provided by the French National Center for Space Studies (CNES) and built by the French National Institute for Aeronautics and Space Space Agency (ISAE) in Toulouse to collect weak whistles that will remain unnoticed at Earth.

As Lori Glasze, director of NASA's Planetary Science Department, said:

"The Mars Sol 128 event is exciting because its size and longer duration fit into the profile of the moons discovered on the Moon's surface during the Apollo missions."

The SEIS of the InSight, which mounted the surface in December 2018, allows scientists to collect similar data for Mars. And much like the composition of the moon, scientists have allowed scientists to assume that Earth-Moon has a common origin (The Gigantic Influence Theory), we hope that these data will shed light on the formation of the rocky planets of our Solar System.

This is the fourth seismic signal detected by InSight, the previous three occurred on March 14 (Sal 105), April 10 (Sal 132) and April 11 (Sal 133), respectively. However, these signals were even weaker than those detected on April 8th, making them even more ambitious in terms of their origin. Here, the team will continue to study and try to learn more.

The InSight Lander seismometer is under the protection wind and thermal shield. Image Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech
The InSight Lander seismometer is under the protection wind and thermal shield. Image Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech

Regardless of what triggered the April 8th signal, its detection is an exciting milestone for the team. Like Philip Lonone, the SEIS team leads the Physics Institute du Globe de Paris (IPGP) in France, said:

"We've been waiting for a signal like this for several months now, and it's so exciting to finally prove that Mars is still seismically active." We look forward to sharing detailed results once we have the opportunity to analyze them. "

Of the four events registered since December, the SEIS team suggested that the instrument exceeded their expectations in terms of sensitivity. "We are happy about this first achievement and we are ready to make very similar measurements with SEIS in the years to come," said Charles Jana, SEIS mission's operations manager at CNES.

Ledger continues to study the interior of the planet from its place in Ellis Planitia, a plane near the equator of Mars. At present, mission controllers are still trying to figure out how to wipe out the heat and heat probe (HP3), which became stuck in a buried rock in February, while trying to burrow into the country to measure the temperatures there .

Be sure to check this recording of the seismic event, thanks to NASA JPL and the SEIS team:

Additional information: NASA, Nature

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