Nasa’s Mars InSight lander has detected and measured the first-ever seismic event on the planet.

Designed to study the deep interior of Mars, InSight detected a likely ‘marsquake’ on its 128th Martian day, or Sol, on 6 April.

The faint seismic signal was detected by the lander’s specially designed seismic experiment for interior structure (SEIS) seismometer.

According to the space agency, the trembling appears to have come from inside the planet, as opposed to being caused by elements above the surface such as wind.

However, scientists are evaluating the data to conclusively determine the exact cause of the seismic signal.

“InSight’s first readings carry on the science that began with Nasa’s Apollo missions.”

The seismometer was placed on the Martian surface on 19 December 2018.

It will help scientists to gather similar data about Mars and study the deep interior of the planet as part of their efforts to learn about the formation of other rocky worlds, including Earth and the Moon.

The agency stated that the latest seismic event, Sol 128, was too small to provide solid data on the interior of Mars.

Nasa Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) InSight principal investigator Bruce Banerdt said: “InSight’s first readings carry on the science that began with Nasa’s Apollo missions.

“We’ve been collecting background noise up until now, but this first event officially kicks off a new field: Martian seismology.”

The tremor is said to fit the profile of moonquakes previously detected on the lunar surface during the Apollo missions.

Three other seismic signals, Sol 105, Sol 132 and Sol 133, were also detected by SEIS’ more sensitive Very Broad Band sensors.

The agency noted that these signals were smaller than the Sol 128 event and more ambiguous in origin.

The detection of the faint tremor was possible due to the extremely quiet nature of the Martian surface.

Unlike Earth, Mars and the Moon do not have tectonic plates. Quakes on these planets are caused by a continual process of cooling and contraction that creates stress. This stress builds gradually to break the crust, causing a quake.