The first ultrasound of Mars

After a busy winter for the red planet, with ben three Martian missions arrived around and on Mars in the previous months, summer is proving to be just as intense. Perseverance, the latest generation robot from NASA, started scientific operations after activating his automatic navigator. Zhurong, the first Chinese rover on Mars, is sending unpublished images of the planet. But while the new Martian recruits enter the fullness of their activity, the old guard certainly does not remain inactive.

InSight, the NASA lander working on Mars since November 2018, has just earned the cover of Science thanks to three international studies that reveal new data on the interior of Mars using i seismic data collected by the mission. The results reveal the average thickness of the Martian crust, that goes 24 to 72 kilometers, while going down to 500 kilometers under the surface there is a thick one lithosphere. Going even further down, the scientists then went back – again thanks to the seismic waves recorded by InSight – to important data on the nucleus of Mars, which it would seem less dense expected. It is the first time that a sort of ultrasound of the interior of a planet other than ours has been done with such a detail.

From the Martian meanders to the events that shake the surface: a new study presented today at the congress of the Royal Astronomical Society reconstructs the dynamics of the last global dust storm on Mars, which dates back to 2018. And it does so thanks to data from two other Martian samples: the probes ExoMars of the ESA and Mro of NASA.

In this way, new pieces are always added to the complex mosaic that tells the story of our planetarium neighbor, waiting to be able to reach it with the first human missions.

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ultrasound Mars

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