NASA scientists have reported an exciting discovery by the Mars Insight spacecraft – a mysterious rumble from within the planet.
Researchers believe that seismic events could be caused by a sudden release of energy from within the planet, but the nature of this release remains unknown and puzzling.
Interestingly, it is believed that the new purr originated in a place on Mars called Cerberus Fusae, where Two more events from the previous candidates It is believed to have originated.
Although these vibrations are sometimes referred to as “Mars earthquakes,” the planet is not thought to have an active tectonic system similar to that of Earth that causes earthquakes.
Oddly enough, previous seismic events were discovered by the Space Agency’s Insight spacecraft – any of them He reached the surface of the planet In 2018 – it happened about a year ago on Mars or two years ago on Earth in the northern summer of Mars.
Scientists predicted that this time of year would give the probe the best chance of hearing earthquakes as the winds would calm down on the planet.
The InSight seismometer, known as the Internal Structure Seismic Experiment (SEIS), is so accurate that it must be covered with a dome-shaped shield to protect it from the wind and prevent it from freezing during use.
However, the winds still caused enough vibration to mask the seismic signals they were looking for, so the NASA team began insulating the thin cable.
To do this, the team used the shovel located at the end of the InSight robotic arm to anchor it to the ground above the shield and allow it to penetrate the cable.
The goal is to get the soil as close as possible to the shield without affecting the earth’s seal.
Burying the seismic rope itself is one of the goals of the next phase of the mission, which NASA recently extended for two years through December 2022.
But despite the winds from the InSight seismograph, it doesn’t do much to help the landing craft’s solar panels, which remain covered in dust.
Energy is now decreasing as Mars moves away from the sun, although energy levels are expected to increase after July when the planet approaches the sun again.
Until then, the team will turn off their InSight tools one by one so they can fall asleep. They wake up regularly to check their health and send a message to Earth.
NASA said the team hopes to operate the seismometer for a month or two before turning it off.