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The interior of Mars as deduced by Mars Pathfinder.
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Image from: NASA/JPL

The Interior of Mars, from Mars Pathfinder

Many missions have returned data on the shape of Mars, a measurement which helps scientists understand a planet's interior. These data first showed that Mars had a huge bulge, now called the Tharsis Ridge. Mars Pathfinder took better data on the shape of Mars by passing over the Martian poles instead of the around the middle.

These data suggest that Mars has a large, and solid core, as shown in the figure to the left. (The figure is a rough drawing and is not meant to show the detailed shape of the core). These findings help address questions which remain about Mars, and contribute to the overall results returned by the Mars Pathfinder mission.


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