Powerful impact allows InSight to explore the deep structure of Mars

(ORDO NEWS) — NASA’s InSight spacecraft was launched in 2018.

The purpose of the mission was to look deep into the bowels of Mars in order to obtain important information about the structure and formation of the planet.

The device was equipped with a sensitive seismometer, which allows it to detect subtle vibrations.

By recording how these vibrations bounce and bend as they travel through the planet, InSight has helped scientists map the crust, mantle and core of Mars.

In a new paper published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, scientists describe one of the largest seismic events recorded on Mars and the furthest from InSight’s location.

This is the first such event with P-waves that reached the core of the planet, where they were diffracted.

After analyzing the vibrations, the authors concluded that the event, which turned out to be an impact, occurred near the Tharsis volcanic plateau on Mars, on the opposite side of the planet from InSight.

The depth of the detected fluctuations allowed the researchers to determine the structure of the lower mantle of Mars in more detail than previously available.

They found that the lower mantle appears to be more variable, both in terms of its temperature and composition, than previous seismic models had suggested.

However, scientists say more data will be needed to determine exactly how and why the thermal and chemical composition changes.


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