Insight data helped scientists figure out the size of Mars' core

Until now, the only celestial bodies whose cores have been measured have been the Earth and the Moon. To do

scientists used such measurementsseismic data. In an attempt to figure out the size of Mars' core, NASA sent Insight to the Red Planet. The mission landed near the planet's equator back in 2018 and began listening for marsquakes soon after. To date, sensors on board the ship have recorded seismic data from approximately 500 such events. Researchers have found that most of these Marsquakes are small compared to those on Earth. Although about 50 of them were between magnitude 2 and 4. That's strong enough that they could be used to measure the planet's interior. Before measuring the core, data from the Insight mission was used to measure the depth and thickness of layers of the Martian crust.

To use seismic data formeasuring the inner part of the planetary body, many measurements are required. Sensors can tell you where such waves start and end. They also provide data on how long it takes for a wave to travel through a given part of the planet. This allows you to calculate its density. Using this data, the researchers were able to measure the depth of the core-mantle boundary in many places, which allowed them to calculate the size of the core.Scientists estimate its radius to be from 1810 to 1860 km, which is about half the size of the Earth's core. This discovery is somewhat unexpected - previous studies have suggested that it will be much larger. New evidence suggests that the core should contain more light elements than previously thought.

The research team plans to discuss theirconclusions at the Conference on the Study of the Moon and Planets this year, which will be held virtually due to the pandemic. One of the scientists, Simon Stehler, provided a pre-recorded presentation for everyone. In the near future, the team intends to publish their results in a peer-reviewed journal.

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A Marsquake is a natural phenomenon on Mars, which, like an earthquake, manifests itself in the form of tremors and vibrations of the surface or inner part of the planet.