NASA’s Insight Robotic Lander has given us our first deep look inside a planet other than Earth.

More than two years after its launch, seismic data collected by Insight has given researchers clues as to how Mars was formed, how it evolved over 4.6 billion years, and how it differs from Earth. A set of three new studies published in Science this week suggests that Mars has a heavier crust than expected, as well as a molten liquid core that is larger than we thought.

In the early days of the solar system, Mars and Earth were exactly alike, with each ocean blanket covering the surface. But over the next 4 billion years, the Earth became temperate and habitable, while Mars would lose its atmosphere and water and become the barren waste we know today. Getting more information about what Mars is like inside can help us do that work as to why the two planets have such different prices.

“Going from [a] During a NASA press conference, Insight Mission project scientist Mark Penning said the cartoon understanding of what the interior of Mars looks like putting real numbers on it, “We are really able to expand this rocky family tree of understanding. How planets form and how Are the same and how they are different. ”

Since Insight landed on Mars in 2018, its seismometer, which sits on the planet’s surface, has taken more than a thousand specific earthquakes. Most are so small that they are inaccessible to anyone on the surface of Mars. But the teams were too big to help the team get the first true glimpse of what’s going on below.

NASA / JPL-Caltech

Earthquakes create seismic waves that detect seismometers. Researchers created a 3D map of Mars that contained data on two different types of seismic waves: shear and pressure waves. Shear waves, which can only pass through solid objects, are reflected from the surface of the planet.

Pressure waves are fast and can pass through solids, liquids and gases. These waves allowed researchers to detect earthquakes by measuring the difference between the time they arrived and gave the key to the internal structure.

A team led by ETH Zurich’s seismologist logist Simon Stahler used data from 11 major earthquakes to study the origin of the planet. From the way seismic waves reflect the main body, they have concluded that it is composed of liquid nickel-iron, and that it is much larger and probably less than the previous estimates (2,230 and 2320 miles wide). Is.