NASA's Mars Insight robots have recorded the most likely "weapons" for the first time ever, according to the US space agency. The weak seismic signal, detected by the seismic experiment for internal structure (SIIS), was observed on April 6, the 128th Martian day.
This is the first recorded flicker that appears to come from the interior of the planet, as opposed to being caused by forces above the surface, such as the wind, NASA said in a statement. Scientists are still testing the data to determine the exact cause of the signal.
"InSight's first readings are continuing the science that began with NASA's Apollo missions," InSight Director Bruce Bannerd said from the NASA Laboratory Laboratory (JPL) laboratory in the United States. "So far, we are collecting noise in the background, but this the first event officially launches a new field: Marxist seismology! "said Banerdt.
The new seismic event was too small to provide solid data on the interior of Mars, which is one of the main goals of InSight. The surface of Mars is extremely quiet, allowing SEIS, the specially designed InSight hexagon, to fit the weak riddles. By contrast, the surface of the Earth is constantly trembling from the seismic noise created by the oceans and time. An event of this size in Southern California will be lost among dozens of tiny cracks that occur every day.
"The Mars Sol 128 event is exciting, as its size and longer duration fit into the moon's profile detected on the Moon's surface during the Apollo missions," said Lori Glasze, director of NASA's Planetary Science Department.
NASA's astronauts Apollo installed five seismometers that measured thousands of earthquakes while working on the moon between 1969 and 1977, revealing the seismic activity of the moon. Various materials can change the speed of seismic waves or reflect them, allowing scientists to use these waves to find out about the moon's interior and to model its formation.
NASA is currently planning to return the astronauts to the moon by 2024, setting the stage that will eventually allow human exploration of Mars. The InSight seismometer, which floats on the surface of the planet on December 19, 2018, will allow scientists to collect similar data on Mars. By studying the deep interior of Mars, they hope to learn how to form other rocky worlds, including the Earth and the Moon.
Three other seismic signals occurred on March 14, April 10 and April 11. Discovered by sensors with much broader bands of SEIS, these signals were even smaller than the Sol 128 event and the descendants of origin. The team will continue to study these events to try to determine their cause, NASA said. Regardless of the reason, the Sol 128 signal is an exciting milestone for the team.
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"For several months, we've been waiting for a signal like this," said Philip Loon, the SEIS team, who leads the French Institute of Physics (IPGP). "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," said Lion.
Most people are familiar with Earth's tremors, which occur in errors created by the movement of tectonic plates. Mars and the Moon have no tectonic plates, but they still experience tremors – in their cases, caused by a continuous process of cooling and contraction that creates stress. This stress builds over time, until it is strong enough to break the bark, causing an earthquake.
The discovery of these small earthquakes requires a huge feat of engineering. On Earth, high-quality seismometers are often sealed in underground vaults to isolate them from changes in temperature and weather. The instrument has several ingenious insulating barriers, including cover built by JPL called Wind and Thermal Shield, to protect it from extreme temperature changes on the planet and high winds.