In the previous week, NASA’s MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution) spaceship effectively goes into the orbit around Mars. Currently, the agency is revealing the first ever photographs of the planet’s upper atmosphere taken by the spaceship.
According to the official reports, MAVEN took the photos from about 22,000 miles above the planet’s surface with the help of installed ultraviolet spectrograph instrument, later than the first 8 hours in Mars orbit. The false-color photos displayed the Mars atmosphere in 3 ultra-violet wavelength bands.
NASA told that, the blue color in the images shows ultraviolet light, sprinkled from atomic hydrogen gas in the form of cloud which goes thousands of kilometers over the planet’s surface. On the other hand, the Green color depicts another ultraviolet light wavelength which is mainly sunlight mirrored off of atomic oxygen, screening the less significant oxygen cloud. Red color depicts ultraviolet sunlight imitated from the planet’s surface; the vivid spot in the lower right is light reflected either from polar ice or clouds.
Certainly, these images depicts that the Mars grasp oxygen nearer to the planet, whereas hydrogen, which is of lesser weight, is afar in the atmosphere. In fact, these gases are produced from the breakdown of the H2O and CO2.
The first spacecraft in Mars is MAVEN, which goes up with the mission of examining the upper environment. From the data gathered by MAVEN scientists become able to analyze, that once there exist large amount of water, it provides us clearer picture of the atmosphere other than Mars only.
MAVEN will test all its scientific instruments in next six weeks, in a mean time, controllers on Earth will position for its main mission. From this the one year mission of MAVEN begins, which includes a small leap for getting measurements of layers that make planets environment.
Bruce Jakosky who was the principal investigator for MAVEN at the University of Colorado in Boulder says that, among other Mars missions the orbit of MAVEN was totally unique which was present at the top of the atmosphere. MAVEN is not the only aircraft in the space who was working on Mars. It joined a group of other spacecrafts of different companies which includes, NASA’s Mars Odyssey, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, the European Space Agency’s Mars Express, and the India’s Mars Orbiter Mission also recently joined the group, after a successful entry into the planet’s orbit this week.