Scientists discover unprecedented details of Mars’ crust, mantle and core

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July 22, 2021, 22:47 GMT

This is the first time they’ve mapped a planet other than Earth thanks to information from hundreds of Martian earthquakes collected by the InSight module.

For more than two years, NASA’s Insight unit has been studying Martian soil thanks to a sophisticated seismometer. Now, international teams of researchers have published a series of articles summarizing the remarkable discoveries made in the depths of the Red Planet, providing an unprecedented understanding of it. barkAnd the cloak s Nucleus.

This is the first time that scientists have mapped a planet other than Earth. The data collected not only provide insight How is Mars today?But also how it was until the time it was formed.

“It was formed from building blocks similar to our planet, but Mars seems to be very different. There is a lot of evidence that its evolution was completely different. Now, getting this picture of the planet’s layers will give us the tools to find out. How they were formed “, pointed out la sismóloga Sanne Cottaar.

Scientists believe that the crust of Mars may not be as thick as previously thought, and consists of two or three layers. On the other hand, they found that the planet’s top layer, the lithosphere, was very thick, about 500 kilometers. The fact that it is nearly twice as large as it is on our planet can be explained because perhaps Mars المريخ It did not have plate tectonics, according to experts.

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At a greater depth is the mantle, the composition of which is similar to that of the Earth, although it has only one layer.

thin liquid heart

In addition, InSight confirmed that the core of Mars is liquid and much larger than previously thought, with a radius of 1,830 kilometers. Regarding its composition, they suggest that within cast iron and nickel there are also lighter elements that reduce density.

“For Mars to accumulate such a large amount of light elements such as sulfur, carbon, oxygen and hydrogen in its core, it must have formed very early. Perhaps even when the solar nebula was still present. This is not the case with Earth, which was formed later ” , explained To IFLScience author Amir Khan.

Seismic activity on Mars is very low compared to Earth, but analysis of the waves that are produced provides an idea of ​​the planet’s internal structure. “we wait Mars earthquakes “Additional information differs from the above to provide the missing information to complete the model,” said researcher Brigitte Knappmayr Andron.

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