A team of researchers from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of the California Institute of Technology and the Royal Observatory of Belgium found evidence of Chandler̵
About a century ago, astronomer Seth Carlo Chandler discovered that imperfect circular objects (such as planets) sometimes rotate around their axis for a period of time. This phenomenon is called Chandler swing and has been recorded on Earth. The planet turns from its axis up to 30 feet, and its pattern repeats approximately every 433 days. The researchers suggested that other planets may also have Chandler swings, but until now, it has never been observed, because measuring it on the planetary scale requires years of accurate measurements. In this new work, the researchers obtained correct data from space probes that have orbited Mars for many years: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Mars Global Surveyor, and Mars Odyssey. The spacecraft’s data spans 18 years and is considered accurate enough to measure any existing Chandler swing.
The data includes the gravitational force on the spacecraft, which indicates that Mars does have a Chandler swing, although its pronunciation is far less loud than that of the Earth-the planet is only 4 inches off its axis in 200 days.
One of the interesting aspects of Chandler’s swing is that it should stop after a while. Calculations show that the earth swings for much longer than it should, which shows that the swing is affected by factors that scientists have not yet understood. Data from space probes indicate that the shaking time of Mars has also exceeded expectations. Researchers cannot tell why, but they suggest that discovery should be simpler than understanding the wobble of the earth, because the geography, atmosphere and internal structure of Mars are much simpler than those of the earth.
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Alex S.Konopliv et al. Chandler oscillating detected Mars from the orbiter, Geophysical Research Letter (2020). DOI: 10.1029 / 2020GL090568
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