Mars Methane Spectroscopy

  • Released Thursday, January 15, 2009

Conceptual animation demonstrating the process of spectroscopy. The first animation demonstrates the general concept of visible-light spectroscopy by which white light is separated into its component wavelengths (colors) using a prism. The second animation demonstrates how this idea is applied to the discovery of methane in Mars' atmosphere. Because it absorbs specific wavelengths of electromagnetic energy, methane has a 'fingerprint' that can be seen as missing lines on the resulting spectograph.

For More Information


Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Release date

This page was originally published on Thursday, January 15, 2009.
This page was last updated on Wednesday, May 3, 2023 at 1:54 PM EDT.


This visualization can be found in the following series: