Mission Insight, Which was sent to Mars by NASA in 2018, which managed to measure the radius of the planet’s nucleus. This is the first time that the radius of a planet has been measured beyond the Earth. According to “nature”, the size of the nucleus of Mars was obtained by listening to the seismic energy coming from the interior of the planet. The novelty is that the interior of Mars is larger than previously thought.
According to Insight data, the measurements show that the radius of the Martian core is 1,810 to 1,860 kilometers, which would give about half of the Earth, which is about 4,620 kilometers in total (including the inner and outer nuclei). The new information was presented at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC) in Houston (US) on Wednesday (18).
The new measure is larger than previous estimates, and according to the publication, may mean that the nucleus of Mars will also be less dense than expected. Therefore, the nucleus must, because of this, contain light elements, such as oxygen, iron, and sulfur.
The data that led to NASA’s discovery came from earlier insight discoveries about layers of Martian crust. Geophysicist Philippe Laughen of the Paris Earth Institute of Physics, and the leader of the seismometer team at Insight, said, “Now we’re starting this intensive structure.”
Rocky planets such as Mars and Earth divide their formation into the crust, the outermost region; Mantle, made of pasty minerals and under great pressure; And core, with a more fluid outer layer and a solid inner layer.
According to the New Scientist website, the Insight Mission seismometer measured two types of seismic waves: those that slide close to the surface and travel in a relatively straight line between earthquakes and probes, and those that reach the detectors before they reach the planet. Let’s jump around. .
The instrument studied seismic waves that jumped from the boundary between the mantle and the nucleus, using time and the direction of the waves reaching the sensor, with the team estimating the radius of the Mars core between 1,810 and 1,860. Was able kilometers
The data also suggest that the upper mantle, which extends about 700 to 800 kilometers below the surface, has a zone of thicker material in which seismic energy moves more slowly.
With the discovery of Mars, researchers will be able to make comparisons with the same data we have on Earth and thus get a better understanding of how planets evolved in the Solar System.
So far, the Insight Seismograph has detected about 500 earthquakes, meaning that the planet is less seismically active than Earth, but more active than the Moon. The planet also has a strong magnetic field similar to that of the Earth, but it diminished over time. The atmosphere of Mars survived in space, cooling the planet and posing less danger to life.
The biggest challenge now is to build Insight’s resources, as dust from Martian soil is shutting down its two-meter-wide solar panels, which prevents the device from saving much energy.