Quake-Measuring Device on Mars Gets Detailed Look at Red Planet’s Interior
“A quake-measuring device on Mars is providing the first detailed look at the red planet’s interior, revealing a surprisingly thin crust and a hot molten core beneath the frigid surface,” reports the Associated Press:

In a series of articles published this week, scientists reported that the Martian crust is within the thickness range of Earth’s. The Martian mantle between the crust and core is roughly half as thick as Earth’s. And the Martian core is on the high side of what scientists anticipated, although smaller than the core of our own nearly twice-as-big planet.

These new studies confirm that the Martian core is molten. But more research is needed to know whether Mars has a solid inner core like Earth’s, surrounded by a molten outer core, according to the international research teams. Stronger marsquakes could help identify any multiple core layers, scientists said Friday. The findings are based on about 35 marsquakes registered by a French seismometer on NASA’s InSight stationary lander, which arrived at Mars in 2018…

InSight has been hit with a power crunch in recent months. Dust covered its solar panels, just as Mars was approaching the farthest point in its orbit around the sun. Flight controllers have boosted power by using the lander’s robot arm to release sand into the blowing wind to knock off some of the dust on the panels. The seismometer has continued working, but all other science instruments remain on hiatus because of the power situation — except for a German heat probe was declared dead in January after it failed to burrow more than a couple feet (half a meter) into the planet.

The three studies and a companion article appeared in Thursday’s edition of the journal Science.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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