They discover what is hidden in the heart of Mars

They discover what is hidden in the heart of Mars

For the first time, a team of scientists has discovered “Seismic energy transmitted through the core of another planet.” The project managers, an international group of scientists, used data from NASA’s Mars Insight probe to shed new light on the liquid core at the center of Mars.

Detailed detection of seismic waves

The goal was to directly measure the properties of Mars’ core, just as we’ve already done here on Earth. Search determined that Mars has a completely liquid core, rich in sulfur and oxygen, which differs significantly from the Earth’s These results confirm model predictions about the composition of the Martian core and provide new details about the geological differences between Earth and our neighboring planet Mars.

“In 1906, scientists first discovered the Earth’s core by observing how seismic waves generated by earthquakes are affected by traveling through it,” explained Vedran Lekic, a geologist and one of the authors of the Journal paper. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. After more than a hundred years, We apply our knowledge of seismic waves to Mars. With InSight, we’re finally discovering what’s at the center of Mars and what makes Mars so similar yet different from Earth. “

They discover what is hidden in the heart of Mars

The data comes from the InSight mission

The interdisciplinary team of scientists, including seismologists, geodynamics scientists and mineralogy physicists, used observations of two seismic events located in the opposite hemisphere of the seismometer to measure the travel times of seismic waves through the core relative to the seismic waves in which they stayed. cloak. InSight discovered two standouts swamps In August and September 2021 Using his seismic experiment on Mars to measure the seismicity of the interior structure (six). Of course, when its mission ended in December 2022, it had already detected thousands of earthquakes, albeit very small ones, since arriving at Mars in 2018.

Then these events occurred Marsquake Service (MQS) will hone their skills with hundreds of days of Mars data. After that, a lot of experience in the field of seismology was needed from all over the world. Insight Team to extract signals from the complex seismograms recorded by the probe,” the experts commented.

seismic waves

The results indicate that Mars’ core of liquid iron is smaller and denser than scientists thought.. The radius of the Martian core is approximately 1,780 to 1,810 kilometers. These results are consistent with a core containing a relatively high content of light ferroelements, including abundant sulfur and smaller amounts of oxygen, carbon, and hydrogen.

Apparently a fifth of the heart’s weight is made up of sulfur and oxygen, which is a stark contrast to the lower weight ratio of the light elements in the Earth’s core. They are evidence that the Martian core is less dense and more compressed than Earth’s, indicating different formation conditions for the two planets.

“The new findings are important for understanding how the formation and evolution of Mars differs from those of Earth. New theories about the conditions of formation and the building blocks of the Red Planet It should be able to match the physical properties of the core revealed by this new studysays Jessica Irving, from the University of Bristol’s Department of Earth Sciences.

This pioneering research clearly paves the way for future missions to other celestial bodies, Including planets like Venus and Mercury.

The InSight mission continued to collect data on Mars until it was quiet in December 2022 after dust prevented the solar panels from receiving needed sunlight.


Irving, Jessica M. First Observations of Transient Core Seismic Phases on Mars, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2023). Published online April 24, 2023. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2217090120.

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