New Delhi: In a latest, NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission (MAVEN) that has been studying the Martian atmosphere since 2013 has beamed back some never-before-seen pictures of the Red Planet.
New images from MAVEN show the ultraviolet glow from the Martian atmosphere in unprecedented detail, revealing dynamic, previously invisible behavior.
As per NASA, they include the first images of 'nightglow' that can be used to show how winds circulate at high altitudes. Additionally, dayside ultraviolet imagery from the spacecraft shows how ozone amounts change over the seasons and how afternoon clouds form over giant Martian volcanoes.
(This image of the Mars nightside shows ultraviolet emission from nitric oxide (NO). The emission is shown in false colour with black as low values, green as medium and white as high. The splotches, streaks and other irregularities in the image are indications that atmospheric patterns are extremely variable on Mars' nightside. Credits: NASA/MAVEN/University of Colorado)
"Maven obtained hundreds of such images in recent months, giving some of the best high-resolution ultraviolet coverage of Mars ever obtained," said Nick Schneider of the University of Colorado, in a statement.
(MAVEN’s Imaging UltraViolet Spectrograph obtained these images of rapid cloud formation on Mars on July 9-10, 2016. Mars’ prominent volcanoes, topped with white clouds, can be seen moving across the disk and show how rapidly and extensively the clouds topping the volcanoes form in the afternoon. Credits: NASA/MAVEN/University of Colorado)
The images were taken by the Imaging UltraViolet Spectrograph (IUVS) on MAVEN.
NASA's Maven spacecraft arrived at Mars on September 22, 2014 after a year-long journey from Earth. Maven is the first mission dedicated to studying Mars' upper atmosphere. Mission goals include determining how the planet's atmosphere and water, presumed to have once been substantial, were lost over time.