We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Have We Learned about Mars from the InSight Lander?

Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Humankind sent a drone (well, a robotic lander) to Mars, and now it appears that Mars is sending a drone back at us. That "drone" is actually a low humming sound that has been picked up by NASA's InSight lander, which touched down on the red planet in November 2018.

While taking readings meant to help us understand what geological activity is occurring on Mars, the lander also picked up an unexplained hum -- a seismic signal -- that continues without pause. The hum sounds off at 2.4 hertz, which is considerably higher than Earth's natural sounds, like waves crashing on ocean shores.

While there is a lot of seismic activity on Mars and winds that tear across the mostly barren planet at incredible speeds, scientists do not necessarily think they are causing the hum. "It’s extremely puzzling," said Bruce Banerdt, the principal investigator of the NASA mission. "We have no consensus idea what this is."

The lander is situated in an ancient crater filled with sand and dust, and since reaching the surface, it has picked up hundreds of readings of "marsquakes." Mars is cooling at a very fast rate, and as it cools and contracts, quakes are common. All of the data is helping NASA get a clearer picture of Earth's neighbor.

"It’s just super exciting that we see some of these things, and that we are trying to understand Mars," said Suzanne Smrekar, deputy principal investigator of the mission.

More on Mars:

  • Although no water has been found on Mars, the planet contains channels in rock that scientists say could only have been formed by water at some time in the past.

  • Mars currently has two moons, Phobos and Deimos, although Phobos is expected to be pulled into the planet and destroyed within the next 50 million years.

  • Mars is called the "red planet" because its terrain is covered by iron-rich dust, which appears red.
WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Link to Sources
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.