Scientists at NASA have reported an exciting discovery by the Mars Insight spacecraft – a mysterious rumbling from the planet’s interior.
Researchers believe that seismic events may be caused by a sudden release of energy from the planet’s interior, but the nature of this release remains unknown and puzzling.
Interestingly, it is believed that the new purrs originated at a site on Mars called Cerberus Fusai, where Two other events are previous candidates It is believed to have originated.
Although these vibrations are sometimes called “Mars earthquakes,” the planet is not thought to have a similar active tectonic system as Earth’s that causes earthquakes.
Oddly enough, previous seismic events detected by the Space Agency’s Insight spacecraft – which He reached the surface of the planet In 2018 – it happened roughly a year ago on Mars, or two years on Earth, during the northern summer of Mars.
Scientists predicted that this season would provide the lander with the best chance to hear earthquakes because the winds on the planet would become calmer.
The InSight seismometer, called the Internal Structure Seismic Experiment (SEIS), is so sensitive that it must be covered with a dome-shaped shield to keep it out of the wind and prevent it from freezing when in use.
Despite this, the winds were still able to produce enough vibrations to mask the seismic signals they were looking for, so a NASA team began trying to isolate the sensitive cable.
To do this, the team deployed the scoop at the end of InSight’s robotic arm to smudge the soil over the shield in the shape of a dome, allowing it to seep into the cable.
The intent is to allow the soil to get as close to the shield as possible without interfering with its sealing with the ground.
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 wind-blowing of InSight’s seismometer, it doesn’t give much of a hand to the landing craft’s solar panels that remain covered in dust.
Energy now decreases as Mars moves away from the sun, although energy levels are expected to rise after July when the planet begins to approach the sun again.
Until then, the team will turn the InSight tools off one by one so they can hibernate, waking up periodically only to check their health and send a message back to Earth.
NASA said the team hopes to keep the seismometer running for a month or two before it is switched off.