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The Insight mission reveals that the red planet has a big heart

Obviously, we are not talking here about generosity, but about the core of the planet, which is larger than scientists think and its crust is thinner. A hack to help understand the evolution of Mars.

With the recent feats of a small creativity helicopterOne can almost forget that other ancient missions are still underway on Mars. Arriving at the red planet at the end of November 2018The InSight mission aims to study the interior of the planetكوك. To do this, Insight relies on the analysis of seismology and heat fluxes.

credit: NASA

While the inner map of our planet has been improved a bit more with discoveries, NASA now offers the first indoor map of Mars. And despite some (important) slight differences, Its structure looks very close to that of the Earth. Enough to help scientists understand the history of Mars, but also to open new doors to understanding our planet.

structure similar to our planet

The internal structure of the red planet looks very similar to the blue planet. We find In the center is a heart made of nickel and iron. However, the size of the Martian core is larger than expected and its lower density appears to indicate the presence of lighter elements such as oxygen, sulfur or hydrogen in large quantities.

Seismic activity has been relatively low since the insight, and the probe has not been able to record any seismic waves coming from the core, so it is impossible to know, for now, whether the planet has a solid core at its center like Earth.

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Above this heart we find The mantle is thicker than the crust, as on Earth على. However, this mantle is thinner and more solid on Mars than on our planet, which may partly explain its evolution.

The crust of Mars is thicker in the north than in the south, where the oceans may have formedIts average area is between 24 and 72 km. It is divided into 3 layers, deep still unknown, an intermediate layer made of igneous rocks and an upper layer in rocks fragmented by the impacts of meteorites.

Different coat for different evolution

The ideal conditions for life on Earth are due to the huge amount of small details. The size, composition and location in the solar system and the sun itself … Mars, whose internal composition appears to be close to that of the Earth, He could also have submitted these conditions, but that’s no longer the case.

With this study, scientists have new avenues to explore. Mars’ mantle is thinner and more solid than Earth’s. Perhaps its hardness prevented it from crumbling Thus creating plate tectonics. In addition, its versatility causes the insulating layer to lose its strength. Excessive cooling can freeze the flow of iron and nickel currents that create the magnetic field.

Once deprived of magnetic fields, and with low gravity, Nothing can prevent the solar wind from gradually sweeping through the Martian atmosphere until it almost disappears.

Scientists hope that the task of insight, Extended until December 2022You will still be able to gather valuable data to understand the planet.

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Source : Marsdeli