NASA Releases Stunning Ultraviolet Images of Mars | Science and technology news


NASA has shared two stunning ultraviolet images of Mars.

The images captured by the space agency’s MAVEN (Mars The Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution mission was conducted at various points along the planet’s orbit around the Sun.

One was recorded in July 2022 and one in January 2023 when the planet was at the opposite end of its orbit.

Mars takes longer than Earth to orbit the sun: 687 instead of 365 days.

NASA Scientists hope the ultraviolet vision will provide more insight into the red (or, in this case, multicolored) planet’s atmosphere and surface features.

What do the different colors mean?

The measurements recorded by the MAVEN imaging instrument are invisible to the human eye and were therefore rendered by NASA at different levels of brightness.

There are three and they are represented as Red, Green and Blue.

With this color scheme, atmospheric ozone appears purple or pink; White clouds and haze are white or blue, and the planet’s surface may appear brown or green.

What do the pictures show?

The image below is from last summer when Mars was closest to the sun.

Appearing at lower left is the Argyre Basin, one of its deepest craters, filled with atmospheric haze; on the top left are the huge gorges of the Valles Marineris; and below is the South Pole ice cap.

Image: NASA/LASP/CU Boulders

The January 2023 image is at the top of this article.

At the top of the image, enormous amounts of ozone have accumulated due to the numerous white clouds that gather during the cold polar nights of winter.

Below left, Valles Marineris is visible again in brown along with many craters.

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NASA said the images would help explore Mars’ upper atmosphere, ionosphere and interactions with the sun and solar wind, hoping they would explain the loss of its atmosphere to space.

It will give scientists insight into the history of Mars’ atmosphere and climate, liquid water and habitability.

MAVEN was launched in November 2013 and entered orbit of the planet in September 2014.

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