Educators participate in a teacher's workshop on March 10, 2018, at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

Educators participate in a teacher's workshop on March 10, 2018, at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech Full image and caption

NASA's InSight Mars lander carries a seismometer, SEIS, the Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure. It sits still, directly on the surface of the Red Planet, and waits to detect seismic vibrations that make it to its location. Seismic waves can be produced by marsquakes, or thumps of meteorite impacts. The seismometer is so sensitive, it can tune into tremors smaller than a hydrogen atom. Studying these vibrations is like shining a flashlight into the planet's interior. They provide a glimpse into the planet's interior structure and internal activity, and tell scientists about the nature of the material that first formed the rocky planets of the Solar System.

The Mars Public Engagement team is partnering with the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology, IRIS to develop a variety of education and public engagement products related to seismology on terrestrial planets. The IRIS Data Management Center will provide public access to the seismic data collected on Mars.

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