Amazing ultraviolet photographs of Mars, captured by NASA’s MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN) mission, reveal the planet in a completely new way. As the spacecraft circled the sun, it captured these images of the planet at various times.
By studying the red planet in ultraviolet light, the researchers were able to learn more about its atmosphere. According to a NASA press release, these global images of Mars were taken by the MAVEN Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph (IUVS) instrument in 2022 and 2023, when the planet was close to the opposing ends of its elliptical orbit.
During the summer months in the southern hemisphere, when Mars approaches the Sun, MAVEN captured the first picture in July 2022.
In a statement describing the season, NASA explained that, like seasons on Earth, the planet’s rotational axis tilt causes the summer season.
The northern hemisphere of Mars, was captured in January 2023 after Mars had reached its orbit’s closest point to the Sun.
The goal is to gain a better understanding of the past of Mars’ atmosphere, temperature, and liquid water.