Scientists from NASA reported that its “Mars” exploration lander made an exciting discovery-a mysterious rumble from the planet’s interior.
Researchers believe that the seismic event may be caused by the sudden release of energy inside the planet, but the nature of this release is still unknown and confusing.
Interestingly, the new rumble is believed to have originated in a location on Mars called Cerberus Fossae, which is believed to have occurred before two other candidate events.
Although these rumbles are sometimes called “earthquakes,” it is believed that the planet does not have an active tectonic system like the Earth, which causes earthquakes.
Curiously, the previous seismic event detected by the space agency’s InSight lander-reaching the surface of the Earth in 2018-occurred the entire year before Mars, two Earth years in the summer north of Mars.
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Scientists predict that this season will provide the lander with the best opportunity to listen to the earthquake, because the wind on the earth will become calmer.
InSight’s seismograph (known as the Seismic Test for Internal Structure (SEIS)) is so sensitive that it must be covered with a dome-shaped protective cover to protect it from wind and prevent it from freezing during use.
Nonetheless, the wind can still cause enough vibration to mask the seismic signal it is looking for, so the NASA team has begun to try to insulate sensitive cables.
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To this end, the team deployed a spoon at the end of the InSight robotic arm to fill the top of the dome-shaped shield with dirt and drip down into the cable.
The goal is to keep the soil as close as possible to the protective cover without disturbing its seal with the ground.
Burying the seismic rope itself is one of the goals of the next phase of the mission, and NASA recently extended the mission by two years to December 2022.
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However, although the wind caused the interruption of the InSight seismograph, it still could not effectively help the lander’s solar panels still covered with dust.
When Mars moves away from the sun, the power is now insufficient, although it is expected that after July, when the planet starts to approach the sun again, energy levels will rise.
Before that, the team will turn off InSight’s instruments one by one so that they can sleep, only wake up regularly to check their own health and send messages back to Earth.
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NASA said the team hopes to turn on the seismograph for another month or two before it must be turned off.
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