Breakthrough scientific news is shaking up humanity’s galactic understanding after the discovery of a liquid iron core present on the neighboring planet of Mars. The paper detailing the findings was published on April 24th.
In the paper, scientists wrote that a mission originally launched in 2018 sent a rover to the red planet and in 2021 discovered “marsquakes” beneath the surface. Using seismography for the first time on the next-door planet, scientists were able to determine the composition of its inner core.
As the Daily Caller wrote, “[t]he core is made of liquid iron alloy rich in lightweight elements such as sulfur and oxygen, as well as smaller amounts of hydrogen and carbon.”
The study went on to note that larger quakes were detected after a meteorite smashed into the planet. Piecing information together, scientists gleaned heretofore unknown details on the planet’s crust, mantle, and core.
Writing about the amazing findings, one of the lead authors of the study, NASA’s Anna Horleston, shared an update on Twitter that more breakthrough discoveries would continue to be revealed.
Remember I wrote about 2 distant marsquakes? And that 1 of them came from a large meteorite? Well we're not done with them yet. Now we've used the data to look at the core of Mars. Great to be a co-author on this amazing work led by @jess_irving. @UoBEarthScience@spacegovuk https://t.co/38jBI52eEt
— Anna Horleston (@SeismoAnna) April 25, 2023
“Remember I wrote about 2 distant marsquakes? And that 1 of them came from a large meteorite? Well we’re not done with them yet. Now we’ve used the data to look at the core of Mars,” the co-lead of NASA InSight’s Marsquake Service said.
Commenting on the discovery and reporting of the new findings, another scientist weighed in on how century-old technology first used to study Earth’s inner workings was now being applied to distant, extraterrestrial bodies.
“In 1906, scientists first discovered the Earth’s core by observing how seismic waves from earthquakes were affected by traveling through it,” another of the study’s coauthors, University of Maryland Associate Professor of Geology Vedran Lekic, said.
“More than a hundred years later, we’re applying our knowledge of seismic waves to Mars,” he added.
“InSight will continue to influence how we understand the formation and evolution of Mars and other planets for years to come,” the professor continued.
Space-related events appear to be all over the place. While the latest news from Mars will surely continue the exploration and discussion of possible life on the planet, as well as the possibility of settlement, NASA also recently unveiled plans to return to Earth’s closest celestial body, the Moon.
Writing on their website, the U.S. government’s space agency announced the first planned “manned” trip to the satellite in over 50 years.
“With Artemis missions, NASA will land the first woman and first person of color on the Moon, using innovative technologies to explore more of the lunar surface than ever before. We will collaborate with commercial and international partners and establish the first long-term presence on the Moon. Then, we will use what we learn on and around the Moon to take the next giant leap: sending the first astronauts to Mars,” NASA announced.
Among many of the reactions to the news, several commentators pointed out that the announced team was quite the assembly of diverse personnel.
They're going to the Moon! Introducing the #Artemis II astronauts:
Reid Wiseman (@astro_reid), Commander
Victor Glover (@AstroVicGlover), Pilot
Christina Koch (@Astro_Christina), Mission specialist
Jeremy Hanson (@Astro_Jeremy), Mission specialisthttps://t.co/Hy1110MOEi pic.twitter.com/SeETL5iURu
— NASA's Johnson Space Center (@NASA_Johnson) April 3, 2023
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