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first tremor detected on Red Planet


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Scientists said Tuesday they might have discovered the first known seismic tremor on Mars in a discovery that could shed light on the ancient origins of Earth's neighbor.

A dome-shaped sample known as SEIS landed on the surface of Mars in December after hitching a ride on NASA's InSight spacecraft.

Its instruments measure the surface caused by the meteorite impacts.

The French space agency Cnes, which operates SEIS, said it had "a weak but distinct seismic signal" from the sample.

The team hopes to gather information about the activity at the center of Mars, hopefully providing insight into its formation billions of years ago.

"It's great to finally have a silent seismic activity on Mars," said Philippe Lognonne, a researcher at Paris' Institut de Physique du Globe.

"We've waited for our first Martian quake for months."

According to NASA's Bruce Banerdt, "The Birth of a New Discipline: Martian Seismology."

The team said they were working on the cause of the tremor, picked up on April 6, and it came from the planet's interior rather than wind or noise distortion.

It is said to have been picked up by the apparatus.

InSight places first instrument on Mars

© 2019 AFP

                                                 'Marsquake': first tremor detected on Red Planet (2019, April 23)
                                                 retrieved April 23, 2019

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