• Released Tuesday, September 8, 2015
  • Updated Thursday, December 3, 2015 at 12:35PM
  • ID: 11929

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A NASA spacecraft uses starlight to probe the composition of Mars’ upper atmosphere.

Find out more about how NASA's MAVEN spacecraft explores Mars in this video.

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The MAVEN spacecraft entered Mars orbit on Sept. 21, 2014.

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As MAVEN circles the planet, its Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph instrument observes the light from setting stars.

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By measuring how a star changes color as it dims, scientists can determine the composition of the Martian atmosphere at varying altitudes.


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

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