Science

NASA measures the volume of Mars’ molten core using InSight

When it comes to studying planets other than Earth, Mars is the most researched. Currently, there are many spacecraft and spacecraft orbiting the red planet. One of the rooftop landers is the NASA InSight Lander. InSight uses seismic waves that bounce around the interior of Mars to measure the size of the planet’s molten core.

InSight has been on the surface of Mars since 2018 and has measured more than 500 earthquakes since its arrival. Scholars Has noticed Most of the earthquakes recorded by the probe were relatively small. Two types of seismic waves were measured with these events, including waves that move close to the surface, traveling in a relatively straight line between the earthquake and the lander, and one that bounces inside the planet before reaching the detectors.

In several of the probe’s seismic records, InSight has found a group of seismic waves with a shape that suggests they are bouncing off the boundary between the planet’s mantle and the core. These very waves reached the detector about 500 seconds after the first surface tremors.

The team was able to use the time difference in the direction the waves arrived to calculate the size of Mars’ heart. Scientists estimate that the radius of the heart is between 1,810 and 1,860 kilometers. Researchers note that the volume is at the end of the range estimated in previous work. The size also indicates that the core may be less dense than researchers previously thought, which means that the interior is richer in lighter elements such as oxygen.

Currently, the location where the probe is on the surface of Mars is in the middle of the dust storm season. The team expects more earthquakes in the coming months after the dust storms end, shedding more light on the planet’s structure.

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