Scientists have received new data on the structure of the Martian crust

(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists from ETH Zurich analyzed measurements taken by NASA’s InSight mission seismometer on Mars.

For almost three years, the only seismic waves InSight recorded were those propagating from the hypocenter deep in the planet.

However, on December 24, 2021, a meteorite impact on Mars caused waves to propagate across the surface of the planet. Scientists have discovered a large impact crater about 3,500 kilometers from InSight.

The researchers were also able to determine that a meteorite crater, just under 7,500 kilometers away from the InSight probe, was the source of the planet’s second unusual wobble.

Scientists have determined that the speed of propagation of seismic vibrations in the Martian crust is higher than previously thought.

The researchers also found that the structure of the crust directly below the spacecraft is less dense than elsewhere.

Experts have suggested that this section of the crust was formed during a meteorite impact more than three billion years ago.

The scientists explained how the measurements were made. According to them, the speed at which surface waves propagate depends on their frequency, which in turn depends on their depth.

Therefore, at different depths, the speed is different, which makes it possible to estimate the density and other properties of the rock at a depth of 5 to 30 km.

The dominant feature of the southern hemisphere is thought to be a plateau covered in meteorite craters, while the northern hemisphere is made up mostly of flat volcanic lowlands that used to be covered by oceans.

This division into southern highlands and northern lowlands is called the dichotomy of Mars.

The results of the new study refute one of the widely held theories of the Martian dichotomy: the regions of the crust in the north and in the south are probably not composed of different materials, and their structure can be remarkably similar at the respective depths.

Researchers at ETH Zurich expect new data soon. In May 2022, InSight observed the largest magnitude 5 Mars quake to date. He also recorded the seismic surface waves generated by this event. The initial analysis of the data confirms the conclusions drawn from this study.

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