Dec 20, 2018

NASA's InSight lander can help detect "marsquakes"

The Mars InSight lander's seismometer deployed on the surface of Mars. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Thanks to the Mars InSight lander, for the first time, we can now detect in near real time earthquakes on another planet. Specifically, we can now detect "marsquakes." How cool is that?

Why it matters: The deployment of the InSight lander's first science instrument onto Martian soil since the spacecraft landed on Nov. 26 marks the beginning of studies that aim to learn more about Mars' interior, in the hopes that we will learn more about how the Red Planet formed.

Details: The lander's robotic arm placed the seismometer on the ground on Dec. 19, about 5 feet away from the lander itself, according to NASA.

"The seismometer is the highest-priority instrument on InSight: We need it in order to complete about three-quarters of our science objectives."
— InSight principal investigator Bruce Banerdt in a press release.

What's next: Like earthquakes on our home planet, each marsquake helps reveal the structure of the planet's interior, by analyzing how seismic waves pass through the planet's many layers.

  • "Having the seismometer on the ground is like holding a phone up to your ear," said Philippe Lognonné, principal investigator of the seismometer instrument from Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris and Paris Diderot University, in a press release.

Go deeper: NASA's InSight lander successfully touches down on Mars

Go deeper

New York reports lowest number of new coronavirus deaths since March

The number of daily new coronavirus cases and deaths reported in New York was the lowest since the state started its lockdown in March, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday, calling Memorial Day a "pivot point" for New York.

By the numbers: 73 New Yorkers died from coronavirus in the past 24 hours, and 200 people tested positive. Hospitalizations and intubations also decreased.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 5,530,341 — Total deaths: 346,873 — Total recoveries — 2,258,161Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 1,665,852 — Total deaths: 98,294 — Total recoveries: 379,157 — Total tested: 14,604,942Map.
  3. 2020: Trump pushes for a polarized pandemic election.
  4. States: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says "I can’t for the life of me understand" Trump’s antagonism toward Michigan.
  5. Public health: The final data for remdesivir is in and its benefits are rather limited.
  6. World: U.S.-China trade tensions are escalating again.
  7. Education: A closer look at how colleges can reopenNotre Dame president says science alone "cannot provide the answer" to reopening.
  8. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Why Hertz crashed

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Car rental giant Hertz filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Friday, ostensibly felled by a pandemic that dramatically lowered demand at its airport counters.

Under the hood: Hertz is a Frankenstein of financial engineering, beginning with its leveraged buyout in 2005 and continuing long after its private equity owners cashed out.