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Mysterious magnetic pulses and signs of groundwater discovered on Mars

The NASA InSight mission has picked up a peculiar electrically conductive layer, that is around 2.5 miles thick and deep beneath the surface of Mars. (Image source: NASA)

The magnetic field of Mars at times tends to pulsate in ways which have never been observed before in the middle of the night. But, the reason behind this is currently not known. This is among the preliminary findings of NASA s InSight lander, the National Geographic reported.

Ever since it landed on the red planet last year in November, the InSight lander has been collecting various information that will help space scientists understand our neighbouring planet better with its internal areas and its evolution. According to the revelations during a meeting of European Planetary Science Congress (EPSC) and the American Astronomical Society, the magnetic fields of Mars are quite strange and odd.

In addition to the strange magnetic pulse, the data from the lander also revealed that Mar’s crust is way more magnetic than what space scientists had expected. The InSight mission has also picked up a peculiar electrically conductive layer, that is around 2.5 miles thick and deep beneath the surface of the red planet. There might be a chance that this particular layer might represent a reservoir of liquid water, however, it is too early to be certain about it, the report said.

The InSight’s seems to have found the electrically conductive layer almost 62 miles below the surface of Mars, looking quite similar to how water that is deep under the Earth’s crust appears when we use terrestrial magnetometers.

In our own planet, the groundwater is locked under the soil and rocks. In case a similar groundwater resource is found on the neighbouring planet then it should not be surprising, the report said quoting Jani Radebaugh, a planetary scientist at Brigham Young University. If indeed there is water in such a large region then it implies that there is potential for life, past or present.

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At the moment, none of the data have gone through peer review and the details of the initial findings and interpretations will get tweaked over the period of time. But still, these revelations given by InSight mission has the potential of revolutionising our understanding of Mars and other rocky planets.

NASA has recently won an Emmy Award for its InSight mission, which is the first to study the deep interiors of Mars by using an ultra-sensitive seismometer, a heat-flow probe and other instruments.