June 26, 2022

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When the air of Mars allows you to know your basement

The InSight mission was sent to Mars in 2018 with a specific purpose: to explore the interior of the Red Planet. And while this may seem surprising, it does include, among other things, an analysis of the vibrations caused by wind. Based on these data, researchers are now providing us with a detailed map of the base of Mars.

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[EN VIDÉO] Mars Insight: A geophysicist on Mars
Launched in May 2018 and launched on Mars in November, the InSight Lander will explore the less well-known environment of the Red Planet: its base, up to its core. Thanks to sophisticated equipment, including a seismometer and a five-meter drill, it was enough to help him understand our little neighbor well.

Mars, the red planet. This has attracted researchers. It makes amateurs dream. And in recent years, there have been numerous scientific trips to meet him. They flew over it. They positioned themselves in the orbit around it. Or have landed on its ground. The amount of information about the return to EarthAtmosphere Or the surface of Mars. But the Work Insight, Landed on the sideElysium planisia, The volcanic area located onequator Takes first a particular interest in the planet, its subjugation.

Thanks to him Seismometer On-board, cheese tool Seismic testing for indoor structure, Insight has already given scientists an idea of ​​the size and composition of the center of the Red Planet. But also its nature Code And its thickness Top tile. Today, Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (Switzerland) By detecting the vibrations of the sound of the wind in the layers of soil and rocks, they can specify what the first two hundred meters of Mars formed.

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The technique they used was developed for earthy purposes. In order to study the underground structures of the areas at risk of seismic activity. On our good old days The blue planet, Really, the oceans, but Holes, Keep the ground shaking. And those weak fools Seismologists Thanks to their highly sensitive tools like seals can measure what is going on in the basement.

Surprising details

On Mars, there are no oceans. Very tense environment. With little wind, then. And a single measuring station, the Work Insight. However, lander records have revealed some surprising details about the base of Mars Resolution One meter near the surface and some ten meters deep.

The mapping, established by the researchers, reveals unexpected layers of 30 to 40 meters Sediment. Their origin is to be determined. This layer is surrounded by thick deposits To do Solidified. All are covered with a layer of about three meters Recolith Sand. And the story suggests thatElysium planisia May have been more troublesome Astronomers I did not think so until then.

Already, thanks to previous studies of nearby craters, lava layers are about 1.7 billion – the strongest on Mars in the midst of the coldest and driest periods – and 3.6 billion years – strong. Volcanic activity. Above the younger lava layer, just below the surface regolith, is a rock layer about 15 m thick. It may have been thrown by a meteorite impact from the surface of Mars.

Now, researchers hope to be able to use their technique to explore the bottom of Mars more deeply. Up to the first kilometer of Mars.

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