There are many mysteries in the cosmos, but at least one of them may be closer to the solution. Scientists may now have some clues as to how Mars was formed thanks to data from NASA’s InSight spacecraft. The information relates to the rock and soil on the planet’s surface, with some seismic activity on the Red Planet that provides some clues as to what lies beneath the surface of one of the most interesting and mysterious planets in the Solar System.
According to Science Journal, (via IGN), researchers studying the InSight spacecraft were able to locate boundaries in rock ten and hundreds of kilometers below the earth’s crust. The crust also appears to be quite thin, as the mantle of the planet is also a cooler temperature than the core of the molten iron of Mars would suggest. What is interesting about this information is that it suggests that the current planet Mars has cooled itself using plate tectonics with a pattern of ‘upward mantle rock and subduction crust’.
The data also revealed that Mars may have a much thinner crust than we have on Earth and that the Red Planet may also consist of two or three different layers. Researchers will need more data to further develop their theories and findings, something that has been a bit of a challenge so far. The data comes from seismic activity on the planet, but wind on the planet made it difficult to detect any seismic activity. Dust on the solar panels also forced the team to eliminate the craft’s robotic arm, which they must use to push a heat probe further onto the surface. The heat probe eventually got stuck in soil that was expected to disintegrate when the probe was placed. Mars also hindered the process a bit in terms of the strength of its ‘marsquakes’. The report indicated that there was not yet a magnitude of 4.5, something that is a bit unusual, but can be attributed to various factors, including the magnitude of Mars’ faults and also the consistency of the Earth’s crust. .
Yet researchers are hopeful that they will be happy and get a lot more information.
“We’re looking forward to another hopeful event,” said Bruce Banerdt, InSight’s lead researcher and a geophysicist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
What do you think of this new information about Mars? Let us know in the comments.