Tech & Science Mars has a less dense crust than astronomers thought

12:00  14 september  2017
12:00  14 september  2017 Source:   Engadget

Mars May Have a Porous Crust, Gravity Map Suggests

  Mars May Have a Porous Crust, Gravity Map Suggests NASA scientists are one step closer to understanding the evolution of Mars.  New evidence shows that the Red Planet's outer crust, which is about 30 miles (50 kilometers) thick, is porous and not as dense as previously thought.

That information combined with gravity field data provided calculations of Mars ' crust that depict a less dense surface than we thought it had . Based on what we knew about what makes up Mars ' soil -- which is how we've estimated its crust density before

And once you put them in, they're hardly noticeable, which is more than I can say for some of the competition. Understanding the crust provides important information about the planet’s evolution.

  Mars has a less dense crust than astronomers thought © Provided by Engadget Understanding the crust of a planet provides important information about the planet's history and its interior structure. But getting details about the crust of another planet -- like its thickness and density, for instance -- is no simple task. However, NASA researchers have developed a new way of analyzing the crusts of our solar system brethren that allows for more accurate estimates based on less information.

A planet's gravitational field is an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to understanding its crust. We have detailed measurements of our own planet's gravitational field, but we have far less data on other planets' fields, limiting what we can glean about their surfaces. For example, NASA's GRAIL mission, which sent two space probes to analyze the Moon, provided much higher resolution data of the Moon's gravitational field than we ever had before, which led to more accurate calculations of the density of the Moon's crust and its interior structure.

New discovery hints that Mars could have once supported life

  New discovery hints that Mars could have once supported life In a research paper published in Geophysical Research Letters, Patrick Gasda of the Los Alamos National Laboratory reveals that NASA’s Curiosity rover has detected the presence of boron in the Gale Crater on Mars. That’s incredibly significant because it’s thought that boron may be a key ingredient for the development of RNA, which is a vital for living things.“Because [boron] may play an important role in making RNA — one of the building blocks of life — finding boron on Mars further opens the possibility that life could have once arisen on the planet,” Gasda says.

Ford and Virginia Tech think they have the answer. They're testing a communication method that uses light signals from dedicated strips to indicate what self-driving cars are doing. Understanding the crust provides important information about the planet’s evolution.

Segway also augmented CityGo's smartphone app. While it previously just monitored scooter battery life and a few other less -useful metrics, Segway's connected it to the cloud with the auspicious plan to potentially Understanding the crust provides important information about the planet’s evolution.

To get more information out of the data we have from Mars, NASA researchers took into account the topography, or elevation changes, on the surface of the planet. That information combined with gravity field data provided calculations of Mars' crust that depict a less dense surface than we thought it had. Based on what we knew about what makes up Mars' soil -- which is how we've estimated its crust density before -- researchers believed the planet's crust was about as dense as the ocean floors on Earth, but it turns out to be less dense than that. "As this story comes together, we're coming to the conclusion that it's not enough just to know the composition of the rocks," Greg Neumann, a researcher on the project, said in a statement. "We also need to know how the rocks have been reworked over time."

Asteroid Odd Couple: Spitting Space-Rock Duo Is Truly Bizarre

  Asteroid Odd Couple: Spitting Space-Rock Duo Is Truly Bizarre The two asteroids, collectively known as 288P, are locked in orbit around each other and are also spewing water vapor into space like comets.The two asteroids, collectively known as 288P, are locked in orbit around each other and are also spewing water vapor into space like comets (which originate in the region beyond Neptune). Many asteroids between Jupiter and Mars can claim one of those characteristics (orbiting one another or releasing vapor), but this is the first time that researchers have identified an object with both features, the researchers said.

Understanding the crust provides important information about the planet’s evolution.

The team found that globally Mars ' crust is less dense , on average, than previously thought , which implies smaller variations in crustal thickness.

The team also learned that there's quite a bit of variation across the planet's surface, with volcanic areas being much denser than others. And the lower-than-expected density is likely due to porous soil. Overall, these findings give researchers a better jumping off point when it comes to figuring out what the inside of the planet looks like.

"The crust is the end-result of everything that happened during a planet's history, so a lower density could have important implications about Mars' formation and evolution," said Sander Goossens who led the project.

The findings were published in Geophysical Research Letters.

A Peek at the Glowing Red Shell Around an Aging Star .
The latest picture of a distant star shows more detail than ever before.U Antliae, one of the members of the constellation Antlia, is located in the southern hemisphere of the sky. U Antliae is a carbon star, which means its atmosphere contains more carbon than oxygen. As the star has aged, carbon has given it and its surrounding bubble a red hue.

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