MAVEN Explores Mars to Understand Radio Interference at Earth

  • Released Monday, February 3, 2020
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The MAVEN mission explores Mars’ atmosphere to better study a phenomenon observed at Earth, known as “Sporadic-E Layers.” They are concentrations of plasma that form in the ionosphere and interfere with radio waves. This video is animated in a comic book style.

Music from Universal Production Music. Songs include: "Alpha and Omega," "Break the News," and "Waiting for a Sensation."

NASA’s MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN) spacecraft has discovered “layers” and “rifts” in the electrically charged part of the upper atmosphere (the ionosphere) of Mars. The phenomenon is very common at Earth and causes unpredictable disruptions to radio communications. However, we do not fully understand them because they form at altitudes that are very difficult to explore at Earth. The unexpected discovery by MAVEN shows that Mars is a unique laboratory to explore and better understand this highly disruptive phenomenon.

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NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

Release date

This page was originally published on Monday, February 3, 2020.
This page was last updated on Tuesday, March 5, 2024 at 6:30 PM EST.


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