NASA MAVEN captures mesmerizing ultraviolet images of Mars | Tech News

NASA MAVEN captures mesmerizing ultraviolet images of Mars

Stunning images of the red planet revealed by NASA MAVEN from different points along its orbit around the Sun.

| Updated on: Jun 25 2023, 12:58 IST
Top NASA tech that solved Mars myths and mysteries like never before
 Check out these captivating ultraviolet images of Mars by MAVEN
1/10 Humans have been studying Mars for hundred of years. In 1609, Galileo was the first person to peer through a telescope and get a more intimate image of what many could only have dreamed of. (Pixabay)
 Check out these captivating ultraviolet images of Mars by MAVEN
2/10 An up close and personal view of the red planet emerged as time progressed and so did the capabilities of telescopes. In fact, from the late 1800s to the mid 1900s, many astronomers believed that Mars was home to majestic seas and lush areas of vegetation. The Dark markings on Mars surface were once believed to be caused by vegetation growing and dying. (Pixabay)
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3/10 Some even believed that intelligent life existed on Mars just because of what they saw through their simple telescopes. But that is exactly was science is about-you make educated guesses based on what you know, then change your ideas based on what you learn. (NASA)
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4/10 Now, thanks to new sophisticated equipment and robotic visits to Mars, it turns out they were caused by Martian wind. It was not until the 1960s, when NASA's Mariner missions flew by and snapped pictures of Mars that many of the myths about the red planet were dispelled. (NASA)
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5/10 That does not make Mars any less interesting. The possibility that life actually existed once on Mars is still a distinct possibility. Or it may even be existing on Mars today! No, not in the form of little green men, but on a microbial level. (NASA)
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6/10 Now, taking pictures is great and all. But nothing is better than getting to know the real thing. So, to get a better feel of Mars, Scientists and engineers built some nifty technologies, from spacecrafts to reach Mars and rovers (vehicles) to actually trundle and explore the planet. (NASA/JPL)
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7/10 Among the earliest tech deployed for Mars was Phoenix. It was launched on August 4, 2007 and so began its 9-month long, 681 Million km journey to the legendary red planet. Now, landing on a planet is not as easy as simply dropping a spacecraft onto it. There is actually a lot of steps to the process. (NASA)
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8/10 On May 25, 2008, Phoenix entered Mars atmosphere. It used its heat shield to slow down the high speed entry of 5600 meters per second or around 12500 miles per hour. It released a supersonic PARACHUTE, then detached from its parachute and used its rocket engines to land safely on the planet's surface. Phoenix' landing spot was further north and closer to the ice covered poles than any spacecraft has ever been before. (NASA)
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9/10 Phoenix had two primary goals: One was to study the history of water in the Martian arctic and the other was to search for evidence of a habitual zone and assess the biological potential of the ice soil boundary. And to do that the spacecraft was packed full of gizmos and gadgets to perform all sets of experiments and tests. One of these gizmos was a robotic arm with a shovel attached. It was used to dig up samples of the martian soil for experiments! (NASA)
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10/10 Another top tech on the Mars surface was the Surface Stereo Imager, which is really just a fancy name for the camera. Three surface stereo imagers were Phoenix' eye. Engineers built the device with two optical lenses that would allow for a three dimensional view, just like our eyes. And the SSI sent back some amazing images of the martian landscape. (Source: NASA/Justin Tully) (NASA)
 Check out these captivating ultraviolet images of Mars by MAVEN
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Check out these captivating ultraviolet images of Mars by MAVEN (NASA)

NASA's MAVEN has released stunning ultraviolet images of the red planet from different points along its orbit around the Sun. The ultraviolet wavelength images will help researchers discover atmospheric dynamics and examine surface characteristics in detail, Devdiscourse stated.

With the help of MAVEN's Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph (IUVS) instrument, scientists were able to capture clear images of Mars in two different seasons 2022 and 2023. To make the ultraviolet wavelengths visible to the human eye, a color scheme is used, where the distinct brightness levels of three ultraviolet wavelength ranges are transformed into vibrant shades of red, green, and blue.

Not only it helps us understand the different wavelengths but it also helps scientists to differentiate between atmospheric components and surface characteristics such as atmospheric ozone appearing purple, while clouds and hazes are white or blue.

There are two images that have been released from different time zones and positions so the difference can be interpreted. The first image was captured on July 2022, during Mars' southern hemisphere summer season. The image captures the Argyre Basin and Valles Marineris. The Argyre Basin is one the Mars's deepest craters, filled with a delicate pale pink atmospheric haze. Whereas, the breathtaking Valles Marineris, a complex network of canyons that attracts attention, dominates the top left portion of the image.

However According to Devdiscourse, due to summer, the southern polar ice cap is gradually shrinking. This study helped MAVEN to discover the greater loss of hydrogen from Mars.

After Mars reached its farthest distance from the Sun in January 2023, the second photograph was taken to get a glimpse into the northern hemisphere of the planet. The Valles Marineris canyons can be seen in tan at the lower left and the ozone in magenta during the winters.

Since 2013 and 2014, MAVEN has successfully given a new perspective to scientists to dwell deeper into Mars' upper atmosphere, ionosphere, and the intricate interplay between the planet and the Sun's solar wind.

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First Published Date: 25 Jun, 12:57 IST