Composition of Mars core and its formation explained by Japanese researchers

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Composition of Mars core and its formation explained by Japanese researchers
Composition of Mars core and its formation explained by Japanese researchers

New Delhi : There have been plans of humans visiting Mars in near future, but before that it is mandatory to know all about the red planet. Japanese researchers have tried to put some weight with their study on the planet from earth with simulations and found that the iron-sulfur alloys thought to comprise the core of Mars to reveal details about the planet’s seismic properties for the first time.

The information will be observed and compared to data collected by Martian space probes in the near future when Mars missions yield results.

Keisuke Nishida, an Assistant Professor from the University of Tokyo’s (Todai) Department of Earth and Planetary Science and his team studied the seismic data and composition which revealed the present state of the red planet, including its past and the possible origin.

“The exploration of the deep interiors of Earth, Mars and other planets is one of the great frontiers of science,” said Nishida. “It’s fascinating partly because of the daunting scales involved, but also because of how we investigate them safely from the surface of the Earth.”

There have been long notion that the Mars core has been made of iron-sulfur alloy but we are still decades away from finding the reality. The Todai team chose to focus their study on the seismic activity on the planet to know more about it.

NASA’s Insight probe is already on Mars collecting seismic readings,” said Nishida. “However, even with the seismic data there was an important missing piece of information without which the data could not be interpreted. We needed to know the seismic properties of the iron-sulfur alloy thought to make up the core of Mars.”

Nishida and the team have measured the velocity for P-waves (one of two types of seismic wave, the other being S-waves) in molten iron-sulfur alloys. The study that last for more than three years to collect the ultrasonic data, however, helped to throw some light on the red planet. “A molten iron-sulfur alloy just above its melting point of 1,500 degrees Celsius and subjected to 13 gigapascals of pressure has a P-Wave velocity of 4,680 meters per second; this is over 13 times faster than the speed of sound in air, which is 343 meters per second,” explained researchers.