TECH NASA unveils InSight lander's findings on Mars


NASA unveils InSight lander's findings on Mars


07:00, February 26, 2020


Mars InSight: An earthquake has been recorded on the Red Planet for the first time. (Photo: NASA)

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) -- NASA has published a set of six papers this week describing its InSight lander's findings above and below the surface of Mars.

These findings reveal a planet alive with quakes, dust devils and strange magnetic pulses, according to a release of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

Five of the papers were published in Nature. An additional paper in Nature Geoscience details the InSight spacecraft's landing site, a shallow crater nicknamed "Homestead hollow" in a region called Elysium Planitia.

InSight is the first mission dedicated to looking deep beneath the Martian surface. Among its science tools are a seismometer for detecting quakes, sensors for gauging wind and air pressure, a magnetometer, and a heat flow probe designed to take the planet's temperature.

The first results reported from the InSight mission on Mars include evidence for locally strong crustal magnetization, unexpected atmospheric processes, and marsquakes from distant, enigmatic sources. Some of the marsquakes detected by InSight's seismometer can be traced to Cerberus Fossae, a region that may be tectonically active, according to JPL.

Together, InSight's geophysical measurements provide information about Mars' interior structure and evolution, said the release.

InSight has two radios -- one for regularly sending and receiving data, and a more powerful radio designed to measure the "wobble" of Mars as it spins.

This X-band radio, also known as the Rotation and Interior Structure Experiment, can eventually reveal whether the planet's core is solid or liquid. A solid core would cause Mars to wobble less than a liquid one would, said JPL.

This first year of data is just a start. Watching over a full Martian year (two Earth years) will give scientists a much better idea of the size and speed of the planet's wobble, said JPL.

Related Stories

Terms of Service & Privacy Policy

We have updated our privacy policy to comply with the latest laws and regulations. The updated policy explains the mechanism of how we collect and treat your personal data. You can learn more about the rights you have by reading our terms of service. Please read them carefully. By clicking AGREE, you indicate that you have read and agreed to our privacy policies

Agree and continue