MAVEN images show Mars’ atmosphere in unprecedented detail

MAVEN images show Mars’ atmosphere in unprecedented detail

Managers for NASA's Mars Atmosphere & Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) project have released new images, showing the Red Planet's atmosphere in unprecedented detail.

The out-of-this-world images of the Red Planet show the ultraviolet (UV) glow from the planet's atmosphere in such a detail that was previously never noticed. The new images revealed the Martian atmosphere's dynamic and previously unseen behavior.

The 'nightglow' being shown by the images can be used by scientists to show how winds move and circulate at high altitudes above the surface of the Red Planet. Dayside UV imagery shows how ozone amounts alteration over the seasons and how clouds form over gigantic Martian volcanoes in the afternoons.

CU Boulder Prof. Nick Schneider of the Lab for Atmospheric & Space Physics (LASP) said images showing afternoon cloud buildup over Martian mountains reminded him of Colorado.

Speaking on the topic, Schneider said, "These Mars clouds, forming over tall mountains in the afternoon, are surprisingly familiar. People think of Mars as completely unlike Earth, but these scenes of afternoon cloud buildup over the mountains remind me of Colorado."

Project managers also revealed that the images were taken by MAVEN's Imaging UltraViolet Spectrograph (IUVS).

New findings made by the MAVEN project will be shared at the American Astronomical Society Division for Planetary Sciences meeting, which is slated for Oct. 19th in Pasadena, California.