Earth isn’t the only place that experiences quakes: Both the Moon and Mars have them as well.
NASA sent the first seismometer to the Moon 50 years ago, during the Apollo 11 mission; the agency’s InSight lander brought the first seismometer to Mars in late 2018, and it’s called the Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS).
Provided by the French space agency, Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES), the seismometer detected its first marsquake on 6 April 2019. The InSight mission’s Marsquake Service, which monitors the data from SEIS, is led by Swiss research university ETH Zurich.
Quakes look and feel different depending on the material their seismic waves pass through. In a new video, scientists at ETH demonstrate this by using data from the Apollo-era seismometers on the Moon, two of the first quakes detected on Mars by SEIS and quakes recorded here on Earth.
By running data from these worlds through a quake simulator, or “shake room,” scientists can experience for themselves how different the earthquakes can be. Researchers had to amplify the marsquake signals by a factor of 10-million in order to make the quiet and distant tremors perceptible in comparison to the similarly amplified moonquakes and unamplified earthquakes.
Fifty years after Apollo 11 astronauts deployed the first seismometer on the surface of the Moon, NASA InSight’s seismic experiment transmits data giving researchers the opportunity to compare marsquakes to moon and earthquakes. The Marsquake Service (MQS) center at ETH Zurich in Switzerland monitors daily seismic activity on Mars.