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Exploring the Crust of Mars with the Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS)

Just as seismic waves from earthquakes can be used to probe the interior of our own planet, the impacts of large meteors along with marsquakes can help scientists probe the interior of Mars. To detect the internal activity of Mars, InSight will carry a seismometer called SEIS to the surface of the Red Planet. SEIS will take precise measurements of quakes and other internal activity to better understand the planet's history and structure. SEIS will measure seismic waves travelling along the surface, and through the interior of Mars to determine its interior structure and composition. This will provide clues about the processes that shaped the planet during its earliest stages of formation.The seismometer is extremely sensitive and can easily detect the impact of a 1-meter meteorite anywhere on the planet. It can also detect the changing pressure of the martian atmosphere and tidal forces from the martian moon Phobos. 

Video Resources

1-Exploring the Surface of Mars: Curiosity...[Link]
2-Using Technology to Explore Mars...[Link]

In the News

1-InSight mission to Look Inside Mars...[Link]
2-Candidate Sites for 2016 Mars Mission...[Link]
3-InSight Reaches Development Milestone...[Link]
4-Extensive Water in Mars Interior ...[Link]
5-Mars sensor design inspired by cathedrals...[Link]
6-A New Martian Impact Crater Appears...[Link]

Interactive Spreadsheets


Individual Problems

1-Arrival times for surface waves....[Link]
2-Seismic waves in a Layered Medium....[Link]
3-Impact Energy and Seismic Effects....[Link]
4-Distance Between Two Points on Mars....[Link]
  1-Seismic Wave arrival times....[Link]
2-Impacts and Quakes on Mars....[Link]
3-Exploring the Richter Scale....[Link]
4-The Marsquake Magnitude Scale....[Link]
5-Possible InSight Landing Areas....[Link]
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Next Generation Science Standards


Common Core State Standards

Science and Engineering Practices
--- (HS-PS2-1) Analyze data using tools, technology or models (computational, mathematical) in order to make valid and reliable scientific claims....

(HS-ESS1-1) Develop a model based on evidence to illustrate the relationships between systems or components of a system...

(HS-ESS1-2) Construct an explanation based on valid and reliable evidence obtained from a variety of sources including students own investigations, theories, simulations and peer review....

(MS-ESS1-3) Analyze and interpret data to determine scale properties of objects in the solar system. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on the analysis of data from Earth-based instruments, space-based telescopes, and spacecraft to determine similarities and differences among solar system objects. Examples of scale properties include the sizes of an object’s layers (such as crust and atmosphere), surface features (such as volcanoes), and orbital radius. Examples of data include statistical information, drawings and photographs, and models.]

  Expressions and Equations
--- (8.EE.c.7) Analyze and solve linear equations and pairs of simultaneous linear equations..... (HS.Modeling) Graphing utilities, spreadsheets, computer algebra systems, and dynamic geometry software are powerful tools that can be used to model purely mathematical phenomena as well as physical phenomena...(NGSS.MP.2) Reason abstractly and quantitatively....(NGSS.MP.4) Model with mathematics....(NGSS.HSN.Q.A.1) Use units as a way to understand problems and to guide the solution of multi-step problems; choose and interpret units consistently in formulas; choose and interpret the scale and the origin in graphs and data displays...
---(RTS.11-12.1) Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts, attending to important distinctions the author makes and to any gaps or inconsistencies in the account. (RTS.11-12.2) Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; summarize complex concepts, processes, or information presented in a text by paraphrasing them in simpler but still accurate terms.

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Last Updated: 2 Apr 2013