Mars Wind Currents Reveal a Surprising Feature

  • Released Thursday, December 12, 2019
  • Updated Wednesday, May 12, 2021 at 1:14PM
  • ID: 13485

By measuring windspeed and direction in the Mars upper atmosphere, MAVEN has discovered that high-altitude wind currents are being disturbed by terrain features far below.

Credit: NASA/Goddard/MAVEN/CU Boulder/University of Michigan
Universal Production Music: “Glacial Shifts” by James Joshua Otto

Watch this video on the NASA Goddard YouTube channel.

Complete transcript available.

MAVEN is the first spacecraft specifically designed to study the Mars upper atmosphere, in order to better understand the evolution of its climate. Now, scientists have analyzed several years of data from MAVEN’s NGIMS instrument and produced the first map of wind currents in the Martian thermosphere (a layer of the upper atmosphere). This map led to an unexpected and surprising discovery – disturbances in high-altitude wind currents on Mars are caused by terrain features such as mountains and valleys on the planet’s surface.


Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard/MAVEN/CU Boulder/University of Michigan


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