The remains of a massive cataclysm have been found scattered across Mars

New research published last month in natural astronomy It may finally reveal more information about Mars’ disastrous history. One of the biggest goals of the new research was to discover more about what happened to Mars’ magnetosphere, which many believe disappeared at some point in the planet’s past.

This latest research draws heavily on data captured by NASA’s Insight Lander, as well as the Martian Churong probe in China. The data captured by these two spacecraft points to some interesting discoveries, including the fact that Mars has small magnetic pockets of varying sizes in different places.

These differences in magnetism located in different places are rather extreme as well. On a normal basis, the average surface size of Mars is only 200 nanometers. However, InSight has recorded magnitudes of up to 2000 nT. Although this huge difference was noticeable, it became even more noticeable when Zhurong detected a force of 20 nT elsewhere on the planet. As such, there appear to be parts of the planet where the magnetosphere is still stronger.

NASA’s InSight Lander has captured interesting details about the Martian magnetosphere. Image source: NASA/JPL-Caltech

However, there are other areas that are much weaker, which leads many to believe that there may be some kind of catastrophe associated with the change. Understanding how and until when the Martian magnetosphere disappeared or changed is vital to the ongoing efforts of NASA and others to explore the Red Planet.

With NASA planning a manned mission to Mars sometime in the next decade, getting a good understanding of how the planet got to the point it’s at now, and even learning about the conditions that led to its appearance here will provide a lot of good information for astronomers to draw on. And if that wasn’t enough, learning all of it can help us better understand the planet as a whole.

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This new discovery can be read in detail in the paper, which was chaired by researchers from Chinese Academy of Sciences.

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