For those of us with the sweet tooth, the holiday season is an everlasting joy of sugary delights, so it’s in the spirit of these holiday times that the NASA guys just unveiled a picture of the Planet’s three-tier cake internal composition.
Data enabling examination of the bakery-like makeup of Mars beneath its crust comes courtesy of the space agency’s Insight Mars lander, which sent scientists the very first geological dissection of another planet besides Earth.
The intrepid probe discovered that Mars is made up of a three-layered crust made up of different types of rock stacked on top of each other just like a cosmic birthday cake. These revelations will help astronomers, planetary geologists and aerospace engineers to better understand the history of the dark origins and evolution of the Red Planet.
With the lander’s difficulty in deploying and using its “mole” excavation probe in the Martian soil, Insight rotated and luckily was able to gather details on the rock layers using a domed seismometer provided by the French space agency, Center National. d’Études Spatiales (CNES).
By capturing the nature of multiple seismic wave storms, scientists at home were able to analyze the thickness of each slice of Mars and determine the time duration of the waves and the resistant path through these marzotti.
First launched in May 2018, InSight, which stands for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport mission, is a specialized robotic lander designed to investigate the mysteries of the Mars makeup.
Its main mission objectives are to explore the deep interior of the neighboring planet. Landing in the Elysium Planitia region near the Martian equator on November 26, 2018, it continues to monitor and collect data that helps us understand the formation of the inner solar system’s rocky planets billions of years earlier.
Last year, InSight’s fixed location detected hundreds of small earthquakes, most of which were no greater than magnitude 3.7, and collected the most comprehensive weather data of any previous surface dropped mission to Mars.
“After studying over 480 earthquakes, we have enough data to begin answering some of these big questions,” said NASA researcher and InSight principal investigator Bruce Banerdt.
Preliminary research and analysis of numbers estimate that each of Mars’ planetary layers measures between 12 and 23 miles in thickness, which is considerably thicker than the Earth’s oceanic crust but thinner than our planet’s continental layer.
“Sometimes you get big flashes of surprising information, but most of the time you’re making fun of what nature has to tell you,” Banerdt added. “It’s more like trying to follow a trail of complicated clues than having the answers presented in a well-packaged package.”