Shocking findings! Mars spinning faster than ever, says NASA | Tech News

Shocking findings! Mars spinning faster than ever, says NASA

NASA’s InSight lander discovers Mars's rotating speed is getting faster each year which is decreasing the Martian day.

| Updated on: Aug 09 2023, 11:40 IST
Moon to Mars mission
Mars is spinning faster each resulting in shortened Martian day. (NASA)

NASA's InSight Mars lander revealed some shocking data about the Red Planet's rotation speed and the findings suggest that its days are getting shorter. The lander reached Mars in 2018 to study the 4.5 billion year old planet, however, the mission was concluded due to the lander running out of energy. However, with the help of data gathered by the Mars lander, researchers have achieved the most accurate measurements of Mars' rotation to date.

Check out what the finding says about the Red Planet's rotation.

InSight Mars lander finding on Mars rotation

According to the findings published in Nature, the length of the Martian day is being shortened by as much as a millisecond yearly due to Mars' axial spin, which is accelerating by about 4 milliarcseconds annually. However, scientists from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory are unsure about what is causing the change in rotation. They have suggested that it may well resemble the same motion as that of ice skaters who speed up by first extending their arms and then retracting them while spinning.

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Bruce Banerdt, InSight's principal investigator at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, said in a release, “It's really cool to be able to get this latest measurement – and so precisely.”

He added, “I've been involved in efforts to get a geophysical station like InSight onto Mars for a long time, and results like this make all those decades of work worth it.”

How the findings were collected?

NASA revealed that during the Rotation and Interior Structure Experiment, or RISE, the radio transponders and antennas on the lander collected information. The data collected by RISE was examined to find the reason behind the shift in rotation by studying Mara wobble measurements.

As per the measurements, the radius of Mars's core was measured between 1790 to 1850 kilometres. The examination of Mars' wobble also gave data about the core's characteristics.

The RISE mission is still active, and scientists want to acquire additional information about Mars. They believe there are still many things to learn about the exact cause of its rotational change.

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First Published Date: 09 Aug, 10:19 IST