Mars is... humming?

A NASA robot measuring quakes on Mars has detected a sound on the Red Planet, and experts are stumped. The phenomena is being compared to “the Hum,” an unexplained low-frequency sound about percent of Earthlings claim to hear.

The name of the robot is Insight lander, and it was using a seismometer tool to measure so-called “mars quakes” when it picked up the background hum of the Red Planet. The lander also registered more than 400 quakes, confirming that Mars has quakes just like on Earth.

J.Hop scholars are keen to know what’s causing the hum. “I think it’s… a Mars hummingbird,” says Maddie Kelzer, in eighth grade. “Or maybe Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber.”

“It could be other NASA robots,” says eighth grader Miranda Jacob. “I think they have a lot of them up there looking around.”

The Insight robot landed on Mars in November 2018. Since then, it has been using equipment to gather information that gives NASA scientists a better look at the inside off Mars.

One of the robot’s main goals is to measure how active earthquakes are on Mars. About one year ago the first "mars quake" showed up on the machines.

Just like they don’t know much about the sound, NASA scientists aren’t sure about the quakes either. Mars isn’t made up of big plates like on Earth, so nobody knows why quakes would be happening under the surface.  

“That’s why I like astronomy,” Kelzer said. “There are so many unknowns.”

Both the hum and the quakes are just a few of the problems scientists look forward to solving in the future. It might take years to figure out, so there’s enough time for J.Hop scholars to study science, get a job at NASA, and help discover the reason behind the mysterious hum.