Planets and Moons  ID: 4824

MAVEN Observes Solar Particle Velocities and the Induced Magnetic Field

The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft has been orbiting Mars since 2014, observing the planet’s upper atmosphere and its interaction with the solar wind in order to better understand the climate history of Mars.

In this visualization, a series of MAVEN’s orbits are shown from March 8-9, 2015. During these orbits, MAVEN’s particles and fields instruments observed the speed and direction of charged particles in the solar wind flowing past Mars – represented as yellow spikes pointing from the planet’s dayside toward its nightside. MAVEN’s magnetometers also recorded variations in the strength and direction of the solar wind’s magnetic field – represented as green spikes at an angle to the charged particle velocities.

The solar wind has contributed to the erosion of the Martian atmosphere over time, which has gradually turned Mars from warm and wet to cold and dry. MAVEN is helping scientists to better understand the complex processes that have driven this transition, and which continue to affect the Martian climate today.

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Visualization Credits

Greg Shirah (NASA/GSFC): Lead Visualizer
Horace Mitchell (NASA/GSFC): Visualizer
Dan Gallagher (USRA): Producer
David Brain (University of Colorado Boulder): Scientist
Laurence Schuler (ADNET Systems, Inc.): Technical Support
Ian Jones (ADNET Systems, Inc.): Technical Support
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio

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MAVEN: Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN

Data Used:
CelesTrak Spacecraft Orbit Ephemeris
Hipparcos/Telescope/Tycho 2 Catalogue also referred to as: Tycho Catalogue
MAVEN/MAG/Magnetic Field Vectors
Observed Data
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

SVS >> Magnetic Fields
SVS >> Magnetosphere
SVS >> Mars
SVS >> Solar Wind
SVS >> Hyperwall
NASA Science >> Planets and Moons
SVS >> Magnetometer
SVS >> Particles and Fields
SVS >> Mars Atmosphere