These new studies confirm that the core of Mars is molten. But more research is needed to find out if Mars has a solid inner core like Earth’s, surrounded by a molten outer core, according to international research teams.
Scientists said Friday that stronger earthquakes could help identify any multiple underlying layers.
The results are based on about 35 earthquakes recorded by the French seismometer on NASA’s InSight lander, which arrived at Mars in 2018.
The dome seismometer has already detected 733 earthquakes so far, but 35 with magnitudes from 3.0 to 4.0 served as the basis for these studies.
Most large earthquakes originated in a volcanic region 1,000 miles (1,600 km) away where lava may have flowed only millions of years ago.
Even the largest earthquakes are so weak that they can barely be felt on Earth, said Mark Banning, of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory who was involved in studying the crust.
Banning said he hoped a “big thing” would make it easier to process the data and determine the interior of Mars.
“We would like to see some bigger events,” he added.
Current measurements show that Mars’ crust may be 12 to 23 miles (20 to 37 km) deep, and the mantle extends down nearly 1,000 miles (1,600 km); The core is relatively lightweight with a radius of 1,137 miles (1,830 kilometres).