Mars is seismically active

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The first official science results from NASA's quake-hunting InSight Mars lander just came out, and they reveal a regularly roiled world.

"We've finally, for the first time, established that Mars is a seismically active planet," InSight principal investigator Bruce Banerdt, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, said during a teleconference with reporters Thursday (Feb. 20).

Martian seismicity falls between that of the moon and that of Earth, Banerdt added.

"In fact, it's probably close to the kind of seismic activity you would expect to find away from the [tectonic] plate boundaries on Earth and away from highly deformed areas," he said.