Saturday, May 18, 2024

NASA has detected the first seismic waves in the heart of Mars


(CNN) When earthquakes shook Mars and A meteor hits the red planet For the past four years, NASA’s InSight probe has been collecting sound waves to help reveal the secrets of Mars’ interior.

During these events, InSight detected seismic waves through the Martian core for the first time. Scientists are now using data from the rover to show that Mars contains liquid iron alloys that include light elements. Sulfur and oxygen and small amounts of hydrogen and carbon.

More growth Understanding the interior of Mars can help scientists learn more about how rocky planets like Earth and Mars formed, how the two planets differ, and what factors contribute to life on other planets.

There were extensive research results Published in the magazine on Monday Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“In 1906, scientists first discovered the core of the Earth and discovered how seismic waves are affected by earthquakes,” Vedran Lekic, a professor of geology at the University of Maryland, said in a statement in College Park. . . “A hundred years later, we are applying our knowledge of seismic waves to Mars. With InSight, we’re finally discovering what’s at the core of Mars and what makes Mars so similar to Earth and so different.

NASA’s Mars Inside probe has been exploring the interior of Mars for four years.

The researchers studied how long seismic waves form March earthquake In addition to the meteorite impact, traveling through the Martian core allows us to estimate the density and chemical composition of the core.

Planetary nuclei provide evidence of evolution

Earth has a liquid outer core and a solid inner core, but Mars’ core is made entirely of liquid. The core of Mars is much denser and smaller than scientists thought, with a radius of about 1,106 to 1,125 miles (1,780 to 1,810 kilometers).

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Study co-author Nicholas Schmeier, an associate professor of geography at the University of Maryland, College Park, said in a statement.

“The end result of the processes of formation and evolution may be the generation or lack of conditions for survival. The peculiarity of the Earth’s core allows us to create a magnetic field that protects us from the solar wind, which allows us to retain water. The core of Mars does not create this protective shield, so the surface conditions of the planet are hostile to life.

Mars currently has no magnetic field, but traces of magnetism are still present in the Martian crust. The tracks lead scientists to believe that Mars may have once supported a habitable environment, but over time became a frozen, uninhabitable wasteland.

“It’s like a puzzle in some ways,” Legic said. “For example, there are small traces of hydrogen in the core of Mars. This means that there must have been certain conditions for hydrogen to exist there, and understanding those conditions is necessary to understand how Mars evolved into the planet it is today.

Initially, InSight, the first mission to explore the interior of Mars, lasted only about two years. But NASA extended the mission by two years.

“The extra work hours certainly paid off,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. Jessica Irving, a senior lecturer in geosciences at the University of Bristol in England, in a linked news release.

“We are the first to observe seismic waves traveling through the core of Mars. Two seismic signals, one from a very distant earthquake and the other from a meteorite impact on the far side of the planet, allowed us to probe the core of Mars with seismic waves. We have already heard of energy traveling through the core of another planet, and now We heard it.

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The InSight mission continued to collect data on Mars until the end. Shut up in December 2022 After the dust prevents the solar panels from getting the sunlight they need. But data collected by the rover over four years on Mars has changed the way scientists understand the Red Planet.

“Insight will continue to influence how we understand the formation and evolution of Mars and other planets,” said Legic.

Stuart Wagner
Stuart Wagner
"Professional coffee fan. Total beer nerd. Hardcore reader. Alcohol fanatic. Evil twitter buff. Friendly tv scholar."

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