InSight on Mars’ Spin

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Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Office of Public Outreach in collaboration with NASA’s Universe of Learning partners: Caltech/IPAC, Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian, and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
 
Video imagery:

·       Mars rotation visualization: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
·        Illustration of InSight lander on Martian surface: NASA/JPL-Caltech
·       Martian surface with ice boulders, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

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A collage of space photos, including planets, galaxies, and nebulas. Text, News from the Universe. 
 
Insight on Mars' Spin. August 18, 2023. 
 
Mars, a red planet with dark spots, spins in space. 
 
Text, Ever feel like a day doesn't last as long as it used to? On Mars data indicate this is actually the case. 
 
Using data from NASA's now-retired InSight lander, scientists have made the most precise measurements ever of Mars' rotation. 
 
Data from InSight's first 900 days on Mars indicate the planet's rotation is accelerating slightly. 
 
InSight lander illustration. The lander sits on the surface just beside a cliff. It has a round center with many instruments and robotic arms, two round solar panels on the sides, and tubes to instruments deployed on the surface. Two arrows point to areas on the lander labeled RISE Antennas. 
 
Text, Each year the Martian day, or sol, becomes a fraction of a millisecond shorter. 
 
Scientists are still investigating the cause of the acceleration. Theories relate to how the distribution of mass could be shifting on the planet's surface and interior. 
 
The surface of Mars. It is red, pocked with craters all over, and has patches of white and black. 
 
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Text, This news was brought to you in part by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.