Nasa InSight lander reveals deep interior of Mars for first time
- Three research papers based on InSight’s seismometer data have provided much-awaited details on the depth and composition of Mars’ crust, mantle, and core.
The seismometer of Nasa’s Insight lander has revealed details about the deep interior of Mars for the first time. Before InSight’s touchdown on the Martian surface in 2018, Nasa’s study of the Red Planet through the rovers and orbiters was primarily concentrated on its surface. But three research papers based on InSight’s seismometer data have provided much-awaited details on the depth and composition of Mars’ crust, mantle, and core.
In the study, the scientists confirmed that Mars’ core, which has a radius of 1,830 kilometres, is molten. They will continue using InSight data to determine whether its inner core is solid like the Earth’s. The crust was thinner than expected and scientists believe that it may have two or even three sub-layers. The crust could be as deep as 20 kilometres with two sub-layers and 23 kilometres if there are three.
“This study is a once-in-a-lifetime chance,” Simon Stähler, lead author of the core paper, stated. “It took scientists hundreds of years to measure Earth’s core; after the Apollo missions, it took them 40 years to measure the Moon’s core. InSight took just two years to measure Mars’ core.”
InSight’s seismometer has recorded over 700 marsquakes and many of them between 3.0-4.0 magnitude, supporting the idea that the location is seismically active. While Mars has no tectonic plates unlike Earth, it does have volcanically active regions that can shake the surface.
“We’d still love to see the big one,” said JPL’s Mark Panning, co-lead author of the paper on the crust. “We have to do lots of careful processing to pull the things we want from this data. Having a bigger event would make all of this easier.”
Three bombs tore through minibuses in Afghanistan's northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif on Wednesday, killing at least nine people, police said. "The bombs were placed on three minibuses in different districts of the city," Balkh provincial police spokesman Asif Waziri told AFP, adding that 15 other people were wounded. Another bomb exploded inside a mosque in the capital Kabul late on Wednesday, killing at least two people and wounding 10 others, the interior ministry said.
At least 16 people were killed after a blast tore through a mosque in Afghanistan's capital Kabul and three blasts ripped through three minibuses northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif on Wednesday. A spokesman for Kabul's commander said at least two people were injured in the blast on a mosque in Kabul. Emergency hospital said in a tweet it had received five bodies from the blast and more than a dozen wounded patients, reported Reuters.
Clashes erupted across several cities of Pakistan amid the Azadi March call by the ousted prime minister Imran Khan Niazi. After Karachi, Lahore and parts of Khyber Pakhunkhwa, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf supporters and workers resorted to violence in the federal capital Islamabad, where the party chief is set to hold the rally.
On a day Lahore witnessed clashes between supporters of Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and police, former Pakistan cricketer Mohammad Hafeez took to Twitter and slammed the Pakistani establishment over the shortage of fuel and cash, tagging prominent politicians in the country. Political and economic volatility has deepened in the nuclear-armed nation ahead of a likely announcement by the International Monetary Fund later in the day on whether it will resume a $6 billion rescue package.
China's People's Liberation Army on Wednesday said it has conducted a military exercise around Taiwan as a warning against its “collusive activities” with the United States, two days after President Joe Biden said Washington would get involved militarily if China were to try to take the self-ruled island by force. “This is a stern warning to the recent collusive activities by the US and Taiwan secessionists,” Senior a spokesperson of the Eastern Theatre Command, Colonel Shi Yi was quoted in Chinese state media as saying.