Mysterious 'sudden' rumblings heard coming from INSIDE Mars by Nasa probe

MYSTERIOUS rumblings from deep beneath the surface of Mars have been detected by a Nasa probe on the Red Planet.

Scientists at the space report that its Insight lander picked up two "significant" quakes last month.

Registering magnitudes of 3.1 and 3.3, they rocked the planet's Cerberus Fossae region on March 7 and March 18 respectively.

Two similarly strong marsquakes hit the same back in 2019, according to a Nasa blog post on the readings.

The rumblings are called "marsquakes", and Insight has detected more than 500 on the Red Planet since it landed there in 2018.

Their origins are a mystery, as Mars is not thought to have a similarly active tectonic system like Earth's that causes earthquakes.

The dusty planet does have volcanically active regions, however, that can cause rumbles.

Alongside the detected last year, the March 7 and March 18 quakes add weight to the idea that Cerberus Fossae is a centre of seismic activity.

Taichi Kawamura of France’s Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, which handles Insight's seismometer data, described the readings as "interesting".

He said that there are two types of marsquakes, one that's similar to a moon quake and one that's Earth-like.

" four of larger quakes, which come from Cerberus Fossae, are 'Earth-like'," Dr Kawamura said.

Scientists had predicted that this season would prove fruitful for Insight's seismometer.

That's because Martian winds die down at this time of year, meaning they're less likely to interfere with readings.

The instrument, called the Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS), is covered by a dome to shield it from wind and dust.

Mars facts

Here7;s what you need to know about the Red Planet…

  • Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun
  • It is named after the Roman god of war
  • The landmass of Mars is very similar to Earth but due to the difference in gravity you could jump three times higher there than you can here
  • Mars is mountainous and hosts the mountain known in the Solar System called Olympus Mons, which is three times higher than Everest
  • Mars is considered to be the second most habitable planet after Earth
  • It takes the planet 687 Earth days to orbit the Sun
  • So far, there has been 39 missions to Mars but only 16 of these have been successful

Even with the shield, wind still causes enough vibration to obscure some marsquakes.

During the past northern winter season, InSight couldn’t detect any quakes at all, Nasa said.

“It’s wonderful to once again observe marsquakes after a long period of recording wind noise,” said John Clinton, a seismologist who leads InSight’s Marsquake Service at ETH Zurich.

“One Martian year on, we are now much faster at characterizing seismic activity on the Red Planet.”

Scientists are using Insight's seismic readings to figure out the geological makeup of Mars.

Nasa just extended the mission by two years to December 2022.

Insight's solar panels are currently covered with dust, and Nasa plans to place the lander in low power mode to help it survive.

It should be fully operational when sunlight levels improve in July as Mars begins to approach the Sun again.

In other space news, the DNA of 6.7 million species could be stored inside the Moon in case there's a disaster that destroys life on Earth.

The largest asteroid to make a 'close approach' to Earth in 2021 is set to shoot past this month.

Nasa has released historic first audio recordings captured on the surface of Mars.

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