Mars wobbles (but doesn't fall down... whew!)

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Mars wobbles (but doesn't fall down... whew!)


Post by AntennaGuy »

Found via a link from Instapundit (who adds that he was "...hoping for more of a Rachel or Monica.") Har-Har!
"Researchers find Mars has a Chandler wobble"
"Approximately a century ago, astronomer Seth Carlo Chandler discovered that imperfectly round objects (such as planets) sometimes spin off their axis for periods of time. The phenomenon has come to be known as the Chandler wobble, and has been documented for planet Earth, which veers from its axis for distances up to 30 feet in a pattern that repeats approximately every 433 days. Researchers have suggested that other planets likely have a Chandler wobble, but until now, it has never been observed because measuring it on the planet scale requires precise measurements over many years. In this new effort, the researchers obtained the right kind of data from space probes that orbited Mars over many years: The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, the Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Odyssey. The data from the craft spanned 18 years and was considered to be precise enough to measure any existing Chandler wobble." And "...the planet veers just four inches from its axis over a 200-day period."
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