A group of scientists from the University of Bristol have found that the inside of Mars contains sulfur and hydrogen.
The scientists used sound data from NASA’s InSight lander to explore the inside of Mars and made an amazing discovery! They found that Mars’ liquid centre is denser and smaller than they originally thought.
Dr Jessica Irving, who led the research team, said that this discovery is important for understanding how Mars was formed and how it’s different from Earth.
In 2018, NASA’s InSight lander used a seismometer (a device used to measure ground noises and shaking) to measure seismic waves on Mars. During its time on the planet, the lander measured two seismic signals – one from a faraway Marsquake and another from a meteorite hitting the far side of the planet.
By studying these seismic signals, the scientists were able to learn more about the makeup of Mars’ core. “We’ve effectively been listening for energy traveling through the heart of another planet, and now we’ve heard it,” said Dr Irving.
The scientists found that the core of Mars is not just a ball of iron, but it also contains a large amount of sulfur, as well as other elements like a small amount of hydrogen. Using this information, the researchers created models of the planet to describe what the core looks like.
So, the next time you look up at Mars in the night sky, you can imagine what its liquid centre might look like thanks to the hard work of these amazing scientists!