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MAVEN: Mars Atmospheric Loss

When you take a look at Mars, you probably wouldn't think that it looks like a nice place to live. It's dry, it's dusty, and there's practically no atmosphere. But some scientists think that Mars may have once looked like a much nicer place to live, with a thicker atmosphere, cloudy skies, and possibly even liquid water flowing over the surface. So how did Mars transform from a warm, wet world to a cold, barren desert? NASA's MAVEN spacecraft will give us a clearer idea of how Mars lost its atmosphere (and thus its water), and scientists think that several processes have had an impact.

Learn more about these processes in the videos below!

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Other multimedia items related to this story:
     MAVEN Science Teaser (id 10666)
     Mars Climate Transition Animations: "Dry" Mars to and from "Wet" Mars (id 11025)

SPUTTERING How did Mars, a once wet planet, lose its early atmosphere?  One possibility is through a process called    SPUTTERING How did Mars, a once wet planet, lose its early atmosphere? One possibility is through a process called "sputtering," in which atoms are knocked away from the atmosphere due to impacts with energetic particles.

For complete transcript, click here.
Duration: 2.1 minutes
Available formats:
  1280x720 (29.97 fps) QT         77 MB
  1280x720 (29.97 fps) WMV         61 MB
  640x360 (29.97 fps) MPEG-4   24 MB
  640x360 (29.97 fps) QT         49 MB
  320x240 (29.97 fps) MPEG-4   12 MB
  960x540 (29.97 fps) MPEG-4   60 MB
  1280x720 (29.97 fps) QT         887 MB
  960x540 (29.97 fps) WEBM         23 MB
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NEUTRAL PROCESSES Scientists think that the collision of neutral hydrogen molecules may have helped to drive the Martian atmosphere into space over billions of years.    NEUTRAL PROCESSES Scientists think that the collision of neutral hydrogen molecules may have helped to drive the Martian atmosphere into space over billions of years.

For complete transcript, click here.
Duration: 1.6 minutes
Available formats:
  640x360 (29.97 fps) MPEG-4   18 MB
  1280x720 (29.97 fps) QT         632 MB
  320x240 (29.97 fps) MPEG-4   9 MB
  960x540 (29.97 fps) MPEG-4   45 MB
  1280x720 (29.97 fps) QT         59 MB
  1280x720 (29.97 fps) WMV         44 MB
  640x360 (29.97 fps) QT         38 MB
  960x540 (29.97 fps) WEBM         17 MB
  320x180     PNG           49 KB
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PLASMA PROCESSES Mars's thick early atmosphere was likely lost to space, and the Sun is a potential culprit.  When high-energy solar photons strike the upper Martian atmosphere they can ionize gas molecules, causing the atmosphere to erode over time.    PLASMA PROCESSES Mars's thick early atmosphere was likely lost to space, and the Sun is a potential culprit. When high-energy solar photons strike the upper Martian atmosphere they can ionize gas molecules, causing the atmosphere to erode over time.

For complete transcript, click here.
Duration: 1.7 minutes
Available formats:
  320x240 (29.97 fps) MPEG-4   9 MB
  1280x720 (29.97 fps) WMV         46 MB
  960x540 (29.97 fps) MPEG-4   46 MB
  1280x720 (29.97 fps) QT         59 MB
  640x360 (29.97 fps) QT         38 MB
  1280x720 (29.97 fps) QT         644 MB
  640x360 (29.97 fps) MPEG-4   19 MB
  960x540 (29.97 fps) WEBM         16 MB
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Short URL to This Page:http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?11037
Animation Number:11037
Completed:2012-09-07
Animator:Chris Smith (HTSI) (Lead)
Video Editor:Chris Smith (HTSI)
Narrators:Chris Smith (HTSI)
 Dan Gallagher (USRA)
Producer:Chris Smith (HTSI)
Scientist:Bruce Jakosky (LASP)
Writer:Chris Smith (HTSI)
Series:Narrated Movies
 MAVEN Science Videos
 MAVEN
Goddard TV Tape:G2012-098 -- MAVEN: Mars Atmospheric Loss Processes
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
 
Keywords:
SVS >> Atmosphere
SVS >> HDTV
SVS >> Mars
SVS >> Music
SVS >> Satellite
SVS >> Solar Ultraviolet
SVS >> Solar Wind
SVS >> Sun
SVS >> SDO
SVS >> Edited Feature
SVS >> Heliophysics
SVS >> MAVEN
DLESE >> Narrated
SVS >> Corona
 
 


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Many of our multimedia items use the GCMD keywords. These keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation:
Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version 8.0.0.0.0

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