Measurements and analyzes carried out in 2021 by NASA’s retired InSight robot have offered scientists a new map of the internal structure of Mars. According to two investigations published this Wednesday in the magazine Nature, The new data offer a new interpretation of the Red Planet’s interior, suggesting that its core is smaller and denser than previously thought.
Specifically, scientists say that Mars’ liquid iron core is probably surrounded by a complete layer of molten silicates (rocks).
Last April, another investigation conducted with InSight data revealed that The Martian heart is totally liquid, unlike that of Earth, which combines a liquid outer core and a solid inner core. Furthermore, they found out that the Martian core is not composed only or practically only of iron, but also contains sulfur and oxygen, which are light elements, in addition to carbon and hydrogen.
However, these results would indicate that the core has a higher proportion of lighter elements than is feasible, based on estimates that had been made of the abundance of these elements in the early stages of Mars’ formation history.
Teams led by Amir Khan and Henri Samuel, respectively, examined the latest batch of seismic signals and combined them with geophysical model simulations to obtain estimates of the size and composition of the Martian core. Both studies determined that The liquid iron core of Mars is surrounded by a layer of almost molten silicate rock that would be approximately 150 kilometers thick, the upper part of which had previously been erroneously interpreted as the surface of the core.