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Science Matters: Spying on the nearest neighbor of the Earth



"I feel you are Mars – and soon I will know your heart. With this safe landing, I'm here. I am going home. "These rather emotional (and rather creepy) words are the first we hear from the newest Martians. After a solid six-month six-month journey, 450 million kilometers, NASA climber Mars InSight successfully landed on the red planet … the spectacular achievements of human engineering celebrated throughout the world. InSight is not just a bit of a word artisan. That is also quite a photographer. Shortly after landing, InSight also tweeted the first glimpse of Mars. The first is a rather sharp image of the planet's surface, with a camera protective lens cap still present. Then, InSight shared a clear view of the Mars landscape around the landing site. If you haven't seen the view from Mars, help yourself and jump to the NASA website and check the image that InSight sent back. Unlike its cousin, various Mars Rovers, InSight is not designed to move. Instead of spending time exploring the valleys and mountains of Mars, or looking for evidence of water, it will still be parked in a flat, empty and rather boring area on the planet known as Elysium Planitia. Although its location may not be as fast as the area explored on previous missions to Mars, it was the perfect location for InSight to carry out its special mission. InSights' first job, after all the systems were activated and calibrated, was to dismantle a set of scientific equipment, including a very sensitive seismometer – an instrument used to measure ground motion. Insight will use this to send back information about marsquakes (Mars versions of earthquakes). Just as earthquakes have formed landscapes on Earth, marsquakes do the same thing on Mars, helping to create iconic mountains and valleys seen throughout the planet. Researchers want to know how often these marsquakes occur, where they are, and how big they are. Over the next two years, they hope that InSight will experience hundreds or thousands of these earthquakes, which can provide valuable information about the materials produced by the planet. This will provide some insight (pun intended) about how rocky planets such as Mars are formed and change over time. InSight will not only monitor Mars for earthquakes. He also has drilling work far to the planet's surface, measuring heat from the interior. Data collected may answer the question whether the core is still liquid or not. Along with all drilling and marsquake monitoring, InSight will also collect all other types of data. This will measure wind speed, temperature, and atmospheric pressure on the planet's surface. And of course you will send photos of more grand homes. In one of the initial tweets, shortly after arriving on Mars, InSight said: "There is a calm beauty here. Looking forward to exploring my new home. "There are many of us returning here on Earth who are equally looking forward to seeing what InSight can find about our planet's closest neighbors. Read more Science Matters: A fresh look at the coriander reaction The number of chromosomes is about having the right balance Zombie ants are the real deal

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