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Marsquakes offer detailed look at red planet’s interior

Interior look at Red Planet. Know more…

Monday, 26th July 2021

The Aquake measurement device on Mars provided for the first time a detailed view of the interior of the red planet, revealing an astonishingly thin crust and hot molten core beneath the icy surface.


In a series of papers published this week, scientists reported that the Martian crust is within the thickness of the Earth. The Martian mantle between the crust and core is about half the thickness of the Earth. The core of Mars is taller than scientists expected, although it is almost twice smaller than the core of our own planet.


These new studies confirm that the core of Mars is molten. But according to the international research team, more research is needed to understand whether Mars has an earth-like solid inner core surrounded by a molten outer core. Scientists said on Friday that stronger earthquakes could help identify multiple core layers.


The survey results are based on approximately 35 earthquakes recorded by the French seismograph on NASA's InSight fixed lander, which reached Mars in 2018. So far, the dome seismograph has detected 733 earthquakes, but all 35 earthquakes have magnitudes of 3.0 to 4.0 in these studies. Most major earthquakes originate in volcanic areas 1,600 kilometers away, where lava may have flowed through millions of years ago.


Mark Penning of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which is involved in crustal research, said that even the largest earthquakes are so weak that they can hardly be felt on Earth. Wait for the "big", which will help the processing of data and the definition of the interior of Mars.


Also Read: Methane on Mars?


"Fingers crossed, we would love to see a bigger incident," Pan said.

Current measurements indicate that the depth of the Martian crust may reach 12 to 23 miles (20 to 37 kilometers); the mantle extends down nearly 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers), and the relatively light core with a radius of 1,137 miles (1,830 kilometers)


In contrast, the crust ranges from a few miles (km) below the ocean to more than 45 miles (70 km) below the Himalayas. The earth is almost twice that of Mars.


"By understanding the interior of Mars from cartoons and putting real numbers into it... we can really expand the spectrum of understanding of how rocky planets in the solar system form," Pening said.


Their mission spanned another two years, and the InSight suffered a power crisis in recent months. As Mars approached its furthest point in its orbit around the sun, dust-covered its solar panels. The Flight Controller uses the lander's robotic arm to release sand into the blowing wind to remove some dust on the panel, thereby increasing power. The seismograph continued to operate, but due to power conditions, all other scientific instruments were still in a state of disruption, except for a German heat detector, which failed to excavate more than a few feet (half a meter) of space in the land in January declared dead.


The News Talkie Bureau


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