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The interior of Mars revealed by seismology – 1000 sols of InSight

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NASA ’s InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) mission landed in Elysium Planitia, Mars, in November 2018, aiming to answer key questions on the interior of Mars and, by inference, the formation of rocky planets in general. In order to do so, InSight deployed a seismometer (SEIS – the Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure) on the surface – the first fully robotic deployment on another planet. After less than three years of collecting data, we can now provide constraints not only on the present-day tectonic activity of Mars, but also on the radial extent and properties of the crust, mantle and core of the planet, based on the analysis of seismograms of about 10 teleseismic marsquakes. These results provide the present-day ground truth for any thermodynamical and planetary formation models and point to differences between the Earth and Mars. In the meantime, InSight continues to record and provide new data that help to tighten the constraints and understand the Martian interior in increasing detail.

This talk is part of the Bullard Laboratories Wednesday Seminars series.

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