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Extra-terrestrial Seismology: Listening to the Pulse of the Moon and Mars
Earth seismograms are of short duration and the largest amplitudes are associated with seismic waves travelling directly from the source (the earthquake), to the recording sensor (the seismic station). Compared to Earth, lunar records have a quite atypical “rumble”.
Before the placing of a seismometer on Mars in the frame of the recent NASA InSight mission, it was imagined that Martian seismograms would be similar to Earth seismograms. The first seismogram returned from Mars dispelled that illusion. And this brings back the InSight team to scrutinize even more the lunar data.
In the frame of the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing, we will train our ears, and eyes, to recognize the Earth, Moon and Mars from their pulses. Listening to the pulse of these planets is a path towards understanding the formation and evolution of the inner solar system.