NASA’s InSight lander has just detected and recorded what scientists believe to be a “Marsquake,” marking the first time a seismological tremor has been recorded on another planet. The faint rumble is equal to roughly a 2.5 magnitude earthquake, and was measured on April 6 – the lander’s 128th Martian day, by InSight’s seismometer, an instrument sensitive enough to measure a seismic wave just one-half the radius of a hydrogen atom. “The high frequency level and broad band is very similar to what we get from a rupture process. So we are very confident that this is a marsquake,” said Philippe Lognonné, a geophysics and planetary science professor at University Paris Diderot in France and lead researcher for InSight’s seismometer.Read more to hear the actual recorded Marsquake and for additonal information.
“The lunar and Martian surfaces are extremely quiet compared with Earth, which experiences constant low-level seismic noise from oceans and weather as well as quakes that occur along subterranean fault lines created by shifting tectonic plates in the planet’s crust. Mars and the moon lack tectonic plates. Their seismic activity is instead driven by a cooling and contracting process that causes stress to build up and become strong enough to rupture the crust,” according to Reuters.