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Showing posts with label Astronomy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Astronomy. Show all posts

Monday, July 11, 2016

Researchers find the new 'Dark Vortex' in the Neptune

More recently, astronomers claim to have found the black spot or more often called dark vortex at the Neptune. According to experts, the black vortex is a high pressure system, which is usually accompanied by a cloud 'companion', high above the planet's surface.

A new picture of the appearance is obtained on May 16, 2016, by the Hubble Space Telescope, to confirm the existence of the dark vortex in the atmosphere of Neptune.
The 'dark vortex' is a high pressure system, and experts say on Neptune it is usually accompanied by 'companion clouds' high above the planet's surface. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1blnjW)
According to a report quoted by the Daily Mail on Friday, June 24, 2016, even though the same features seen ever found during the Voyager 2 trip that crosses Neptune in 1994, the discovery of 'dark vortex' is the first in the 21st century. The discovery was announced on May 17, 2016 at the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams (CBAT) by Mike Wong, an astronomer from the University of California, Berkeley.

Mike analyzing data from Hubble found that the dark vortex of Neptune is a high-pressure system that is usually accompanied by a cloud of light and can be seen from outside the planet. The bright cloud is formed when the flow is circling in the sky above distracted and diverted to the dark vortex, causing freezing into ice crystals of methane gas.

"The dark vortex spread through the atmosphere like a mountain of gas lenses are great. And the cloud 'companion' which is similar to orogafis clouds appear, (pancake) shaped bending mountains circling the Earth," said Mike.
By viewing the vortex a second time, the new Hubble images confirm that OPAL really detected a long-lived feature. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1blnjW)
Started in July 2015, a bright cloud again seen in Neptune by some observers, ranging from amateur observers to astronomers at the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii.

Astronomers suspect that the cloud is a cloud of light that surrounds the black vortex. Interestingly, the dark vortex of Neptune is only seen along the blue waves, and only Hubble has a high resolution to be able to see the phenomenon.

In September 2015, an annual project of Hubble, Outer Planet Atmosphere Legacy (OPAL), that captures the global map outer planet. And the map reveals a dark location, situated near the bright cloud.

The data obtained from the Hubble, allowing researchers to create a map with high quality, from the dark vortex and its surroundings. The dark vortex of Neptune provides many 'surprises' during the last few years. Starting from the shape, size, and stability - which sometimes crosswise and tortuous.

The vortex also appears in a shorter period of time, compared with the similar anticyclones are seen in Jupiter. The planetary astronomers hope to get a 'bright light' of how the black vortex is formed, originates, and how the vortex interacts with the environment.

"We were intrigued by the mysterious vortex every movement. How can he disappeared quickly," said Joshua Tollefson, NASA Earth award recipient to study the atmosphere of Neptune. Measuring the evolution of dark vortex that will expand knowledge about the black vortex itself and dynamics of the atmosphere around it. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | DAILY MAIL]
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Saturday, June 11, 2016

It turned out, Pluto is not dead

Human knowledge about Pluto is now increased. Things that once called the farthest planet of the Solar System that was not cold and dead. The dwarf planet turned out to be alive ... geologically.

Last year, New Horizon spacecraft passed the Pluto and has been photographing its surface features. The most amazing feature is Sputnik Planum, heart-shaped surface feature such as a symbol of love.
An exaggerated color photo shows the varied terrain of the dwarf planet. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1auwl2)
Unlike the other Pluto's surface, Sputnik Planum very smooth and free of collision. The area also has features similar polygonal-shaped bubbles, measuring up to 6 x 24 miles. Two research papers published in the Nature journal on Thursday, June 2, 2016 to uncover the origin of the creation of alleged features of youngest in the Solar system.
This artist's impression of NASA's New Horizons spacecraft encountering Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, is seen in a NASA image from July 2015. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/1RvzXhj)
William B. McKinnon of Washington University, the author of one papers, said, "(Sputnik Planum) is not only the heart of Pluto, but the living heart."

"There are many things going on. If we went back 100,000 years, then the pattern will change," McKinnon said as quoted by the Washington Post on Thursday.

According to the study, the mysterious polygonal features on Sputnik Planum are bubbles that rise to the surface, due to the heating system at the bottom. Actually the entire layer of Sputnik Planum is a nitrogen ice that is slowly heated by convection by radioactive elements in the dwarf planet.

At Pluto, solid nitrogen softer, can flow slowly. As the heating of the Pluto, nitrogen becomes warm, and some rose to the surface, as if the volcanic lava. Over time, the bubble is cooled and sinks again, leaving room for a new bubble to rise and take place. Nitrogen bubbles could merge with each other before sinking, creating complex lines.

The scientists believe the bubble is renewing itself every 500,000 to 1 million years. It sounded too old for humans, but geologically relatively short, especially in a world far away from the Sun.

"Here we find evidence that the cold planet is billions of miles from Earth, there is energy to geological activity, as long as have the right materials, meaning that something as soft as nitrogen," explained McKinnon.

The nitrogen heating process is precisely what the secret of Pluto's subtle heart. Nitrogen that rise to the surface over time remove traces of collision that may exist on the surface of Sputnik Planum.

The New Horizon Investigation Leader, Alan Stern, said, "Sputnik Planum is a remarkable geological discoveries in planetary exploration for 50 years." *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | WASHINGTON POST]
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Monday, May 30, 2016

Atomic Oxygen found on Mars

After the discovery of traces of water on the surface of Mars in September 2015, now scientists again found the signs that relate to the red planet's ability to support life. As reported by CNN on Tuesday, May 10, 2016, the US space agency (NASA) announced that has been discovered the atoms of oxygen in the atmosphere of Mars.

Mars, the Red Planet. (Picture from:  
The atoms are found in the mesosphere of Mars, the outer layers of the Martian atmosphere. Scientists believe these findings will provide a better understanding to be the planet's atmosphere. Oxygen in the atmosphere, for example, could help scientists learn how atmospheric erosion and other gases escaped from Mars.

The atoms of oxygen on Mars discovered by scientists using a Boeing 747SP modified airplane for research purposes and can carry a 100-inch diameter telescope. The aircraft is part of a project called Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) developed by with NASA and the Germany Aerospace Center (Deutschen Zentrums für Luft- und Raumfahrt/DLR).

SOFIA jet can fly at an altitude of between 37,000 to 45,000 feet, just above the layer of Earth's atmosphere that serves as an infrared rays shield. With that, the SOFIA can detect and examine infrared emanations from space.

Scientists previously very difficult to detect the oxygen atom of Mars, because they are not able to accurately measure the wavelength emitted by the atoms. The last attempt at seeking atomic oxygen made 40 years ago.

The emission wavelength was captured by SOFIA then analyzed by a device on Earth called the German Receiver for Astronomy at Terahertz frequencies (GReAT), which served to distinguish the oxygen in Earth's atmosphere with the coming of the Martian atmosphere. The findings are published scientists in an article in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | CNN]
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Monday, May 9, 2016

Manx, the key of the formation of the solar system?

In 2014 ago, astronomers discovered a first comet with no 'tail' that the arrangement of its constituent compounds will make the theories of the creation of the solar system that is already questionable.

According to research quoted by Reuters on Sunday, May 1, 2016, the comet called 'Manx,'is made of the rock materials that are normally found on Earth. Most comets are made of chunks of ice and other frozen compounds, which are formed in the cold regions of the solar system.
The new comet, known as C/2014 S3, also-called 'Manx' comet, which was discovered in 2014 by the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System, or Pan-STARRS, is shown in this artist rendering released on April 29, 2016. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1a258T)
Researchers believe the newly discovered comets are made of the same compounds with the composition of the Earth, then bounced into the solar system like a gravitational slingshot that helps the planet occupies its position.

The scientists who involved in solving the mystery of tailless comet, now looking for how many number of types of the comet, the outcome could have been solved a long debate over the origin of the solar system.

Oliver Hainaut, an astronomer who works closely with space research centers in Germany, said the findings the number of comets 'Manx' will be the new benchmark study the formation of the solar system.

"Once we knew the numbers, we'll know if the Earth had the planet children wandering in the solar system or formed separately indeed," said Oliver.

The new comet known as C/2014 S3, first discovered in 2014 by the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System, or more familiar with the name Pan-STARRS.

In particular, comets coming from the same place with the 'Manx' has a very bright tail as it approached the Sun, as a result of ice evaporation on the body of the comet and the reflected sunlight. However, when seen from a distance twice the distance of Earth to the Sun, the C/2014 S3 is not shiny at all and has no tail.

The study analysis then shows, instead of having a compound of the element of ice, the comet 'Manx' instead composed of the rocks materials similar to the rocks that form a ring circle of Mars and Jupiter.

"The comet was visible 'pure', such as long-buried objects and freezing in the solar system for a long time," said Karen Meech, an astronomer of the University of Hawaii.

Meech also said the discovery of another the comet 'Manx' will greatly help the scientists to create computer models that are used to stimulate the formation of the solar system. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | REUTERS]
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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

A new moon on Makemake's orbit was discovered by Hubble telescope

Pluto, the former planet in our solar system known to have several 'brothers' are incorporated in the dwarf planet club. One of the dwarf planets named 'Makemake' which was found in 2005, that became one of the causes that make Pluto excluded from the list of planets in our solar system.

As if not to be outdone by her sister Pluto, Makemake which has a diameter of no more than 1,400 kilometers recently known to have its own moon. The Moon was discovered by researchers at the Hubble Space Telescope. They say, the planet has a moon with the orbit is about 21,000 kilometers.
An undated photo provided by NASA and made by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope shows a small, dark moon orbiting Makemake, the second brightest icy dwarf planet after Pluto in the Kuiper Belt. This is the first discovery of a companion object to Makemake. The moon, provisionally designated S/2015 (136472) 1 and nicknamed MK 2, is more than 1,300 times fainter than Makemake. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1ZuFPQ)
This new moon given the name of the 'S/2015 (136472) 1' or so-called 'MK2,' discovered on last April by the same scientists who discovered Eris and Makemake 10 years ago. As quoted by the Washington Post on Thursday, April 28, 2016, the search was quite difficult because of the Makemake's sparkle was so bright, considering it was the second most brightest planet after Pluto.

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope
 (Picture from: http://imagine-hawaii.com/)
Although the age of Hubble telescope is quite old, yet the sophisticated telescope that is launched into the outer space 26 years ago, was still able to capture the existence of MK2 moon in between the sparkle of Makemake.

The MK2 moon is believed to have a diameter of 160 kilometers and charcoal black. The color is allegedly due to so small it lacks the gravitational power necessary to hold onto a bright, icy crust. It has also been experienced by many comets and another celestial objects in the Kuiper Belt.

The discovery of the MK2 moon will support and more convincing the relationship between Pluto and other dwarf planets thus more appropriate for her to join them. And the presence of MK2 also provide more information for the astronomers as additional material in studying the Makemake.

By observing the MK2 moon as Makemake's satellite, will also provide information for scientists on the gravity relationship between two celestial objects that ease to calculate the mass of the planet. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | WASHINGTON POST]
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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Monkey King will uncover the mystery of darkness in the universe

On December 17, 2015 ago, China launched the Dark Matter Particle Explorer (DAMPE) satellite into space from the Jiuquan launch center in the middle of the Gobi Desert.

DAMPE also called Wukong or 'Monkey King' - Monkey King is the main character in the story of Journey to the West, who have powers to protect the monk Tong on his journey to India to get scripture or the Buddhist sutras. Literally 'Wu' means understanding, while 'Kong' means sky.
China's Wukong dark matter probe blasts off from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in the Gobi Desert on December 17, 2015, opening a new era of Chinese space science. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1XkXvI)
"So, Wukong is a satellite whose mission is to 'understanding the sky'," that's according to the National Space Science Center of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), as quoted by Xinhua on Thursday, February 11, 2016.

The satellite, which has a length of 1.5 meters, 1.2 meters high and weighs 1.9 tons was launched into sun synchronous orbit, at an altitude of 500 kilometers of the Earth's surface.
With the new DAMPE satellite, scientists will look for evidences of dark matter annihilation or decay. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1XkYSK)
The satellite launched using a Long March 2D rocket, and the DAMPE or Wukong mission to explore the darkness in the universe. Or, to be exact, to investigate the dark matter.

Dark matter is invisible material, not identified, also was detected, which is believed to be the majority of the material universe. It formed when the universe was created billions of years ago, in a large explosion or Big Bang. Although not able to detect the instrument, but its presence can be proved from the gravitational effects of these materials.

Dark matter is the first time the unwitting by Swiss astrophysicist named Frits Zwicky, who studied the motion of the galaxies in the Coma Galaxy Cluster members in the 1930s. He found that the matter which we can see is not enough to sustain the universe. Without this 'unseen matter,' galaxies will undoubtedly perish. He later coined the term 'dark matter'.
The main scientific objective of DAMPE is to measure electrons and photons with much higher energy resolution and energy reach than achievable with existing space experiments in order to identify possible Dark Matter signatures. It has also great potential in advancing the understanding of the origin and propagation mechanism of high energy cosmic rays, as well as in new discoveries in high energy gamma astronomy. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1XkYSK)
Such as the sharp-eyed Monkey King characters, the Wukong satellite has the most sensitive and accurate detectors, particularly related to dark matter.

"This is an exciting mission," says theoretical astrophysicist from Princeton University, David Spergel as quoted from the Science. He added, the DAMPE satellite had a chance to investigate dark matter annihilation products.

Launching of the DAMPE or Wukong considered to demonstrate the Chinese commitment related to scientific space missions. "DAMPE is China's first space missions related to astronomy and astrophysics," said Fan Yizhong, an astrophysicist at the CAS headquarter in Nanjing.

Meanwhile, Philipp Azzarello from the University of Geneva, Switzerland who collaborated in the design of the DAMPE detectors said, "We believe, the DAMPE will contribute to the search of dark matter."

Chang Jin, DAMPE's chief scientist and vice president of Purple Mountain Observatory said, Wukong has collected more than 100 million high-energy particles, including protons, alpha particles of cosmic rays, and nuclides.

Scientists will be looking for electrons and high-energy gamma rays - which may be the residue of the annihilation or decay of dark matter.

Chris Impey, a distinguished professor of astronomy at the University of Arizona said, though not know what the hell dark matter, scientists are aware of its existence. The nature of dark matter become one of the most fundamental questions for physicists and astrophysicists.

"That's why a strong interest in astronomy as practiced by the DAMPE mission that has the opportunity to uncover the mystery of dark matter or give us a clue about its nature. The stakes are very high. And, it is one of the unanswered questions both in the field of physics and astronomy." he said as quoted from the Gbtimes. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | XINHUA | GBTIMES]
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Sunday, February 28, 2016

Two giant planets lurking behind Pluto

According to a study titled "Extreme Trans-Neptunian Objects" (ETNOs), which published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Letters, at least two planets with a size larger than Earth, thought to be hiding in our solar system, precisely behind Pluto.

Planet X and Planet Y, so the two giants was named were the two of 13 extreme objects beyond Neptune's orbit trajectory. If these findings can be verified, it will change the general knowledge about our solar system that says there is no other planet beyond Neptune.
Astronomers in Spain believe Pluto (pictured) has yet another unusual feature - the world may be harbouring two supersized planets just out of reach of our telescopes. Researchers at the Complutense University of Madrid have found some strange patterns in the rocky objects around Pluto. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1XORZX)
Research held by the astronomers at the University of Cambridge and the University of Madrid were finding that the orbit of the object is different from the dozens of theories about the planet's orbit known so far.

"The exact number we do not know, because of the very limited data, but our calculations show that there are at least two planets, and probably more, within our solar system," said Carlos de la Fuente Marcos, a scientist from the University of Madrid, which is engaged in that research.

According to the theory, the objects were supposed have a distance just 150 astronomical units from the Sun and the tilt of 0 degrees. The Earth's distance from the Sun is equal to 1 astronomical unit.
But two objects suspected as the planet estimated have a distance of 200 astronomical units from the Sun and have a size 10 times larger than the planet on which we live. However the researchers say more research is needed to confirm the presence of the two bodies suspected as the planets. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | SCIENCE]
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Monday, January 25, 2016

Scientists may find the Planet Nine

One of the scientists responsible for the demotion of Pluto and is no longer considered a planet in our solar system, may have found a replacement for the planet.

Two astronomers from the California Institute of Technology, Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin have arranged a series of numbers and say they believe you have discovered a giant planet that is located too far away to be reached by the Sun's gravity.
An artist's rendering shows the distant view from "Planet Nine" back towards the sun, in this handout photo provided by the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, California, Jan. 20, 2016. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/1NkFUp0)
Scientists say they have not seen the planet but it has been found that there is something they call "an eccentric distant planet" now promotes small group of objects in the solar system.

The scientists know - from the effects of gravity - the planet is very large, at least 10 times larger than the earth, or almost as big as Neptune.

This planet yet to be named but it is said that the planet can be seen through a telescope in the coming years. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | VOA NEWS]
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Saturday, January 16, 2016

In 2030 ESA will build the first Human colony in Moon

Tales about the existence of a land on the Moon turned out to be a myth. When the first time set foot on the Moon on July 21, 1969, human ensure that the Earth's satellite was dry. There's no rabbits especially goddesses inhabiting it.

However, with the science and technology almost makes everything possible. Including, to makes the barren Moon as a human habitation.
Foster+Partners is part of a consortium set up by the European Space Agency to explore the possibilities of 3D printing to construct lunar habitations. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/1PzbDcj)
The European Space Agency (ESA) revealed the plans to build a human base on the Moon. Amazingly, a program called 'Moon Village" will be built with the help of three-dimensional (3D) printing technology. The forward base will help humans to explore the galaxy and the universe.

Not necessarily sent the humans to there. The plan, the robot will be the first landed on the Moon, to prepare the Moon's surface to be inhabited by humans. A number of the base concept designs has also been made.

In the future, the astronauts can use the Moon to explore other celestial bodies like Mars - NASA's main target. Previously, the water was found in the surface of the Red Planet, which further fueled speculation alien presence there.
ESA suggests the target of colonies on the Moon in the 2-day conference, titled 'Moon 2020-2030 - A New Era of Coordinated Human and Robotic Exploration' was held at the European Space Research and Technology Centre in Noorwijk, Netherlands. The conference, which followed 200 scientists and experts discussed human leap in the future in terms of exploration of outer space.

Kathy Laurini of a NASA scientist optimistic, the ESA's base on the Moon would be a stepping stone for astronauts to be sent to Mars.

"ESA's space exploration strategy is to make the Moon as a priority goal, which can be used as a stepping stone for a human to Mars," as she told the SPACE.com, as quoted by News.com.au on Monday, January 4, 2016.

"And talk about the 'Moon Village' generate positive energy in Europe - which plays an important role in the scenario of human exploration of the universe," added Laurini.
In 2013, ESA conducted a serial of tests about the possibility of using the Moon soil as a 'building materials' for the manufacture of the human base. With the help of three-dimensional printers - that process the materials to be used as a dome, which protects humans there from space radiation.

"3D printing technology can be used to produce an overall structure," said Laurent Pambaguian, the project leader. "Our industrial team is investigating whether the technology could be used to build habitats on the Moon." *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | NEWS.COM.AU]
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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Russian rocket parts causing a fireball in the sky

Russian rocket burning while entering the Earth's atmosphere on Tuesday night, December 22, 2015 caused quite a stir in the social media and fueled speculation about what caused the flash of light that glides over the western American space.
Russian rocket burning when entering the Earth's atmosphere on Tuesday night, December 22, 2015 were seen in the sky of Arizona, Nevada and California. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/1OoNUpN)
The officials of US and Russia refused to discuss to what the rocket was launched, but several experts outside the government said the rocket was part of an effort to bring some material to the space station. They said the body of the rocket was apparently separated from the part that contains the shipment to the space station and burned when it began to orbit.

Space debris expert who is also a director of the Union of Concerned Scientist, David Wright, told the Associated Press that "it is not something to worry about."

Fireball seen in the sky that looked Arizona, Nevada and California that are part booster rocket from the Russian SL-4, which was launched today on Monday, December 21, 2015, said Julie Ziegenhorn, a spokesman for US Strategic Command. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | ABC 7 NEWS]
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Sunday, December 27, 2015

NASA delays launch of InSight mission to Mars

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) decided to postpone the launch of the mission of Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) to Mars previously planned in March 2016.

"The conclusion is that we are not ready to launch in 2016," said John Grunsfeld of the NASA Science Mission Directorate in Washington.
This artist's concept from August 2015 depicts NASA's InSight Mars lander fully deployed for studying the deep interior of Mars. (Picture from: http://go.nasa.gov/1QWBquy)
The decision was taken following the failure of attempts to fix a leak in one part of the instrument Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS), a seismograph of the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) of France.

Equipment designed to measure the movement of land as small as the diameter of an atom that requires a vacuum seal around three sensor against harsh environmental conditions of Mars.

The device leaking in earlier this year, which has prevented seismometer maintaining vacuum conditions, has been repaired. But in testing at extreme cold temperatures (-45 degrees Celsius) on Monday, the instrument failed again to maintain the vacuum conditions.

NASA officials stated there was not enough time to finish the handling of other leaks, and that a complete and thorough examination is needed to ensure the success of the mission.

"This is the first time the instrument as sensitive as it is made. We are very close to success, but an anomaly occurs, which requires further research. Our team will find a solution to overcome, but it will not be resolved for the time of the launch in 2016," said Marc Pircher, Director of CNES Toulouse Space Centre.

InSight spacecraft built by Lockheed Martin have been shipped to Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on December 16, 2015. With the delay in the planned launch in 2016, the spacecraft will be returned to the Lockheed facility in Denver.

John Grunsfeld of NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington said a decision about the next plan will be made in the coming months.

"One thing is clear: NASA still fully committed to scientific discovery and exploration of Mars," he said. He said that studying the interior structure of Mars has been a goal of high priority for planetary scientists since the Viking era.

The InSight reasearch mission on the Red Planet interior is designed to increase understanding of how the rocky planets, including Earth, formed and changed and according to Bruce Banerdt, a Researcher InSight at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

"Mars maintain evidence about the early development of rocky planets, which has been erased on Earth, with a lack of internal struggle. Getting information about the core, mantle and crust of Mars is a top priority for planetary science, and InSight are built to achieve it," he said as quoted by NASA's official website. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | NASA]
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