NASA’s InSight Mission Reveals Internal Structure of Mars

In summary: This groundbreaking research was made possible by the collaboration of an international team of scientists and the support of organizations such as the CNRS, the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, and the French space agency CNES.
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Using information obtained from around a dozen earthquakes detected on Mars by the Very Broad Band SEIS seismometer, developed in France, the international team of NASA’s InSight mission has unveiled the internal structure of Mars. The three papers published on July 23, 2021, in the journal Science, involving numerous co-authors from French institutions and laboratories, including the CNRS, the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, and Université de Paris, and supported in particular by the French space agency CNES and the French National Research Agency ANR, provide, for the first time, an estimate of the size of the planet’s core, the thickness of its crust and the structure of its mantle, based on the analysis of seismic waves reflected and modified by interfaces in its interior.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/...ecraft -reveals-first-peek-inside-mars-center

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/nasa-s-insight-reveals-the-deep-interior-of-mars

https://mars.nasa.gov/insight/mission/science/overview/
 
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Using data from the InSight mission, NASA has revealed the internal structure of Mars for the first time. The data obtained from around a dozen earthquakes detected by the Very Broad Band SEIS seismometer developed in France, show that Mars has a core composed of some heavy elements such as iron and nickel, surrounded by a mantle of molten rock and a crust made up of a combination of basaltic and sandy rocks. The thickness of the mantle is estimated to be between 35 and 60 kilometers, while the core is estimated to be between 1,800 and 2,400 kilometers in diameter. In addition to providing insight into the planet's composition, these findings could help us understand how Mars formed and evolved over time.
 

1. What is the purpose of NASA's InSight mission?

NASA's InSight mission is designed to study the internal structure of Mars in order to gain a better understanding of how rocky planets, like Earth, form and evolve.

2. How does InSight gather information about Mars' interior?

InSight uses a variety of instruments, including a seismometer and a heat probe, to measure seismic activity and heat flow on Mars. These measurements can provide insight into the size, composition, and temperature of Mars' core, mantle, and crust.

3. What has InSight discovered about Mars' internal structure so far?

InSight has revealed that Mars has a larger and more active core than previously thought, with a liquid outer core and a solid inner core. It has also confirmed that Mars' crust is thicker and more variable in thickness than scientists previously believed.

4. How does InSight's findings contribute to our understanding of the solar system?

By studying the internal structure of Mars, InSight provides valuable information about the formation and evolution of rocky planets, including Earth. This can help us better understand the processes that shape our solar system and the potential for habitability on other planets.

5. What are the future goals of NASA's InSight mission?

The primary goal of InSight is to continue gathering data and measurements to further our understanding of Mars' internal structure and geology. In addition, the mission aims to study Mars' seismic activity and weather patterns, and potentially detect any signs of past or present life on the planet.

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