9 Giugno 2021, ore 11:00
Title: Exploring the interior of Mars: first results from the InSight mission and laboratory experiments to complement planetary observations
Speaker: Daniele Antonangeli da Institut de minéralogie, de physique des matériaux et de cosmochimie
Abstract: Knowledge of the inner structures of telluric planets is critically important to understand their formation, differentiation, present state, and evolution. The comprehension of differences and similarities in planetary internal constitution will also provide insights on the origin and evolution of our solar system. Space missions and Earth-based observations have provided very precious information on orbital parameters, gravity and magnetic fields, on planetary atmospheres and surfaces. Comparatively, the interiors are largely unknown. So far only geodesy data have provided constraints on the deep interiors. Noteworthy, we are currently witnessing a significant step ahead thanks to the InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) NASA Discovery Program mission. InSightis a Mars lander dedicated to the study of the interior of the planet. The spacecraft successfully landed in Elysium Planitiain November 2018. Since early winter 2019 the entire scientific payload has been deployed and SEIS (Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure), a broad-band seismic instrument to monitor global seismic activity, is continuously collecting data. Such seismological studies are complemented by the possibility to perform a long-term high precision tracking of Mars rotation and orientation (RISE -Rotation and Interior Structure Experiment), allowing the collection of unprecedented information on the internal structure and dynamics of the “red planet”. Following the successful Apollo program, InSightis the first extra-terrestrial mission probing the interior of a telluric planet other than Earth. Hence, this offers a unique opportunity to improve our knowledge not only of Mars, but also of telluric planets in general. In this presentation I will give an overview of the mission status along with a summary of selected scientific results from the first Martian year of operations. Then I will focus on the complementary laboratory activity, presenting high-pressure, high-temperature experiments whose results provide the critical mineral physics and geochemical constraints required for the interpretation of the InSightdata, and the needed link between geophysical observations and planetary models.