In a video uploaded to Twitter on Tuesday afternoon, NASA’s InSight lander showed off a recording of “faint rumbles” that “appear to have come from the inside of the planet” — in other words, likely the first marsquake it’s ever detected.
Mars, I hear you. I’ve detected some quiet but distinct shaking on #Mars. The faint rumbles appear to have come from the inside of the planet, and are still being studied by my team. Take a listen.👂https://t.co/GxR1xdRx1F pic.twitter.com/Z8Hn03jigO
— NASA InSight (@NASAInSight) April 23, 2019
It’s the first time NASA’s InSight lander has detected a marsquake, according to Space.com. The clip was recorded on April 6.
It’s also a glimpse of hope after InSight ran into some trouble digging its thermal probe into the rugged Martian surface last month.
“We’ve been waiting months for our first marsquake,” said Philippe Lognonné, principal investigator for InSight’s seismometer, which is designed to record ground motions including marsquakes, meteorite impacts, and dustdevils, in a statement by French space agency CNES.
“It’s so exciting to finally have proof that Mars is still seismically active,” continued Lognonné. “We’re looking forward to sharing detailed results once we’ve studied it more and modelled our data.”
It’s a momentous occasion, and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is calling it a groundbreaking moment.
“We’ve been collecting background noise up until now, but this first event officially kicks off a new field: Martian seismology,” geophysicist at NASA’s JPL Bruce Banerdt said in the statement.
READ MORE: Marsquake! NASA’s InSight Lander Feels Its 1st Red Planet Tremor [Space.com]
More on InSight: NASA’s InSight Mars Rover Runs Into Trouble Digging a Hole