In November 2018, the InSight probe, equipped with the SEIS (Internal Structure Seismic) seismometer, landed on the surface of Mars. With its help, it has so far detected 733 tremors coming from the interior of the Red Planet.
Seismic waves travel at different speeds depending on the material they pass through. Therefore, NASA used seismic data and, based on 35 earthquakes of magnitudes from 3 to 4 on the Richter scale, studied the interior of Mars and discovered its internal structures.
The internal structures of Mars have been studied. It has, among other things, a thinner shell
Three scientific papers appeared in Science focusing on the different layers of the red planet – the crust, mantle, and core. Research has shown that the crust of Mars can contain two or three sub-layers and is 20 . thick How many (for two layers) up to 37 How many (for three layers). The mantle – the next layer of the planet – has a thickness of 1,560 km, while the radius of the core is 1,830 km. This means that – contrary to scientists’ assumptions – Mars’ core is larger and less dense, and its crust is thinner than previously estimated.
“This study is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Simon Stehler of the Federal Polytechnic University of Zurich, lead author of one of the three research papers. It took scientists hundreds of years to measure the Earth’s core. After the Apollo missions, it took 40 years to measure the lunar core. In contrast, he added, the InSight probe measured the nucleus of Mars in just two years.
The seismically active planet Mars
Earthquakes are the result of shifting and collision of tectonic plates. The Red Planet does not have these things, but the crust of Mars continues to form cracks and fractures in the rock due to stresses caused by the slow contraction of the planet as it cools.
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