Planets and Moons  ID: 11992

Mapping Mars' Upper Atmosphere

High above the thin Martian skies, NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft is carrying out a mission: determine how Mars lost its early atmosphere, and with it, its water. While previous Mars orbiters have peered down at the planet’s surface, MAVEN is spending part of its time gazing at the stars, looking for subtle changes in their color as they dip through the limb of Mars and set below the horizon. Such stellar occultations reveal what the atmosphere is made of, and how its composition varies with altitude. MAVEN’s observations are providing the most detailed picture of the Mars upper atmosphere to date, helping scientists understand how Mars turned from a warm and wet planet in its youth, into the forbidding desert that we see today.


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Bruce Jakosky (LASP)

Dan Gallagher (USRA)

Lead Animator:
Walt Feimer (HTSI)

Brian Monroe (USRA)
Michael Lentz (USRA)
Chris Smith (Self)

Data Visualizers:
Kel Elkins (USRA)
Greg Shirah (NASA/GSFC)

Rob Andreoli (Advocates in Manpower Management, Inc.)

Production Assistant:
John Caldwell (Advocates in Manpower Management, Inc.)

Dan Gallagher (USRA)

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

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MAVEN: Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN

This item is part of these series:
Narrated Movies

Goddard TV Tape:
G2015-007 -- MAVEN Sci Early

SVS >> Mars
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Atmosphere
SVS >> Spectroscopy
NASA Science >> Planets and Moons
SVS >> Spectrograph
SVS >> Martian Atmosphere
SVS >> Mars Atmosphere
SVS >> Mars Upper Atmosphere

GCMD 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