Science

Listen to NASA's InSight at Work on Mars

Listen to NASA's InSight at Work on Mars”

And studying these quakes might allow scientists to better understand what things look like in the planet's interior, like whether its core is a solid or liquid and how big it is. SEIS recorded a few of the marsquakes, and now NASA has released its first few tracks.

InSight, or Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport, is a two-year mission to explore a part of Mars that we know the least about: its deep interior. Ever since more than 100 such events have been recorded and 21 of them are "strongly considered to be quakes", NASA says. The remainder could be marsquakes as well, but members of the InSight science team hasn't ruled out other causes.

Since the quakes are far below the human range of hearing, the recordings collected by the "very broad band sensors" from SEIS and NASA's producers speeded them up and slightly processed them to make them audible through headphones, according to NASA.

These quakes were recorded on Martian day 173 and 235, and equate to magnitudes of 3.7 and 3.3, respectively.

So what do these rumblings tell us?

"Both suggest that the Martian crust is like a mix of the Earth's crust and the Moon's", NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said. On the Moon, fractures remain intact, and sound traveling through them becomes scattered. They also figured out that the sounds they named "dinks and donks" happen when the instrument expands and contracts.

The InSight team has been able to figure out how to separate the quakes from other noises and has come to recognize other sounds on Mars.

According to the researchers, the sounds of the earthquakes indicate that the crust of Mars is "a mixture of" earth and the moon's crust.

"It's been exciting, especially in the beginning, hearing the first vibrations from the lander", said Imperial College London's Constantinos Charalambous, who helped provide the audio recordings. "You're imagining what's really happening on Mars as InSight sits on the open landscape".

The InSight team is always on the hunt for quakes, which appear more prevalent in the twilight hours.



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