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Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics

MAVEN Outreach Webinars

MAVEN Outreach Webinars are virtual gatherings of MAVEN team members involved in bringing the science of the mission to the public. The purpose of the webinars is to continue to offer professional development for formal and informal educators, troop leaders, museum docents, and others interested in MAVEN and Mars science, so that we can keep these groups updated on the latest data from MAVEN, as well as Mars and planetary science in general, and best practices in disseminating these results to the target audiences.

By sharing information, resources, experiences, and lessons-learned, participants in these virtual gatherings will continue to learn from each other—as well as from planetary scientists and communications professionals—and take part in this valuable opportunity to engage with the mission and with each other.

NASA Mars Science: MAVEN Outreach Webinars

July 25, 2018Challenges of Resurrecting the Martian Atmosphere
Download the presentation:

Many people have suggested that future Mars colonists may want to thicken the Martian atmosphere and make it breathable for long-term habitation of the Red Planet.

Join MAVEN Co-Investigator Dr. Robert Lillis of the UC Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory to hear a MAVEN update and learn about the challenges of re-creating a thicker Martian atmosphere.

Time: Wednesday, July 25 at 7 pm ET, 6 pm CT, 5 pm MT, 4 pm PT
Zoom URL: or phone: (646) 558-8656 or (669) 900-6833; Meeting ID: 422 303 3278

Previous MAVEN Outreach Webinars

All previous MAVEN webinars can be viewed in this YouTube playlist.

April 18, 2018Do Habitable Worlds Require Magnetic Fields?

Download the presentation:

(3 MB PDF)

What does it take for a planet to be hospitable for life? Join MAVEN Co-Investigator Dr. Dave Brain of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) to learn about the role that a global magnetic field may play in the evolution of a planet’s atmosphere and in planetary habitability.

Download Audio Only (17 MB mp3)



February 28, 2018Making Mars: The story Mars tells about planet formation and migration in the early Solar System

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(12 MB PDF)

Mars’ composition and properties were influenced by where and how it formed. In this MAVEN outreach webinar from February 28, 2018, Dr. Katherine Kretke of the Southwest Research Institute discusses planetary formation and migration and how Mars is proving to be a crucial piece of evidence as we try to understand how and where our planets formed.




Video files:

Download Audio Only (19 MB mp3)

September 27, 2017Deep Dips: Designing a Mission Orbiter

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(4 MB PDF)

The MAVEN mission has been orbiting Mars since 2014, making periodic “deep dips” to sample Mars’ upper atmosphere. Lockheed Martin designed the MAVEN spacecraft and manages mission operations. The spacecraft is based on the flight-proven designs of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and the Juno spacecraft, designed and built by Lockheed Martin, which has since based the design of NASA’s OSIRIS-Rex spacecraft on lessons learned from MAVEN.

In this presentation from September 27, 2017, Guy Beutelschies, former Lockheed Martin Program Manager for MAVEN and current Vice President of Communications Satellite Solutions, discusses the challenges engineers face in designing missions like MAVEN for success.

Download Audio Only (16 MB mp3)

May 24, 2017Mars and Venus: Terrestrial Analogues for Exoplanets

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(5 MB PDF)

The MAVEN mission may help scientists understand how the atmospheres of other rocky worlds are also being eroded. In this presentation from May 24, 2017, Dr. Shannon Curry from the University of California Berkeley discussed how planetary bodies such as Mars and Venus can be used to provide insight into how atmospheres evolve, as scientists model (and begin to observe directly) the atmospheres of exoplanets.




Download Audio Only (17 MB mp3)

February 15, 2017The Sun’s Influence on Planetary Atmospheres

Download the presentation:

(6 MB PDF)

(6 MB PDF)

As the primary source of energy in the solar system, the Sun is the driver for most of the processes in planetary atmospheres. Variability in solar output both directly and indirectly causes variability in atmospheres, but how and how much depends on the particularities of the planet itself.

Since its arrival at the red planet in late 2014, the MAVEN mission has been measuring how Mars’ atmosphere responds to solar variability with the goal of understanding how the climate has changed over the age of the planet. In this presentation from February 15, 2017, Dr. Frank Eparvier from the University of Colorado Boulder’s Laboratory for Atmospheric & Space Physics (LASP) and instrument lead for MAVEN’s Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) monitor discussed the Sun’s influence on the upper atmospheres of Mars and other planets.

Video files:

  1. Slide 5 (2 MB MOV)
  2. Slide 7 (6 MB MOV)
  3. Slide 11 (7 MB MOV)
  4. Slide 12 (4 MB MOV)
  5. Slide 13 (6 MB MOV)
  6. Slide 14 (5 MB MOV)
  7. Slide 25 (3 MB GIF)
  8. Slide 26 (3 MB MOV)

Download Audio Only (16 MB mp3)

November 30, 2016The MAVEN Mission and Mars’ Auroras

Download the presentation:

(7 MB PDF)

(7 MB PDF)

The NASA MAVEN mission has been studying Mars’ climate evolution since September 2014, particularly the loss of its atmosphere to space due to interactions with the sun and the solar wind. Among its discoveries, MAVEN has observed auroras in unexpected locations in the Martian atmosphere.

In this presentation from November 30, 2016, Dr. Nick Schneider from the University of Colorado Boulder’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) and lead scientist for MAVEN’s Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph discusses MAVEN’s discoveries and the different types of auroras on Mars.
Video files:

  1. Video 1 (9 MB MOV)
  2. Video 2 (15 MB MOV)
  3. Video 3 (83 KB MOV)
  4. Video 4 (13 MB MOV)
  5. Video 5 (15 MB MOV)
  6. Video 6 (8 MB MOV)
  7. Video 7 (16 MB MOV)

Download Audio Only (19 MB mp3)

September 28, 2016The History of Water on Mars: Implications for Future Exploration

Download the presentation:

(6 MB PDF)

(6 MB PDF)

There is ample evidence that Mars once had liquid water on its surface; Mars missions are studying how much water was present and where it went.

In this presentation from September 28, 2016, Dr. Patricia Craig from the Lunar and Planetary Institute, a scientist with the Mars Curiosity rover, discusses the evidence for liquid water on Mars from a historical perspective and how past, present, and future missions to Mars are enabling us to decipher the role that water has played and will play in the future of Mars exploration.

Download Audio Only (19 MB mp3)

April 27, 2016Magnetic Fields, Planets, and Comets

Magnetic fields fill space. The solar wind flows out from the Sun and carries a remnant of the Sun’s magnetic field out into interplanetary space. This interplanetary magnetic field interacts with all the objects in the Solar System. Some of these objects (like Earth or Jupiter) have their own permanent, intrinsic planetary-sized magnetic fields. These interactions create magnetospheres—regions of space around an object that are dominated by the object’s interaction with the solar wind. Other objects (like Mars, Venus, and comets) lack intrinsic permanent magnetic fields but do have atmospheres which can be ionized. When these ionospheres interact with the solar wind, magnetic fields are induced in the ionospheres and the interactions become induced magnetospheres.

In this presentation from April 27, 2016, Jared Espley, from NASA Goddard’s Laboratory for Planetary Magnetospheres, discusses the Martian induced magnetosphere (and how it’s even more complicated due to strong crustal magnetic fields). He also discusses how the plasma from Comet Siding Spring temporarily disrupted the Martian magnetosphere when the comet enveloped Mars in 2014.

February 24, 2016MAVEN results: IUVS and detecting aurora on Mars

The MAVEN IUVS instrument made unprecedented observations of aurora on Mars. In this presentation from February 24, 2016, Sonal Jain from the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) discusses the instrument, the results, and their implication about how the solar wind interacts with Mars.

January 27, 2016The Earth’s Dynamo: Generating a Global Magnetic Field

Earth’s atmosphere is protected by a global magnetic field. How does our planet generate its magnetic field, and why doesn’t Mars have one? In this presentation from Jan. 27, 2016, Ian Rose from UC Berkeley shares the story of the Earth’s interior, as well as the internal structures of other planets in our solar system, and answers questions from the webinar participants.

December 2, 2015Blowin’ in the Wind: First Results from MAVEN

The MAVEN mission has identified the process that appears to have played a key role in the transition of the Martian climate from an early, warm and wet environment that might have supported surface life to the cold, arid planet Mars is today. In this presentation, MAVEN team scientist Jasper Halekas describes the MAVEN results being published about how solar wind and energetic events are transforming Mars.

October 28, 2015Exploring Mars: The Inside Story

What do the geological features on Mars’ surface tell us about its interior? How does Mars’ tectonic activity compare with Earth’s history of plate tectonics? How are these related to planetary magnetic fields? Addressing these questions and more is Dr. Walter Kiefer of the Lunar and Planetary Institute, who uses computer modeling of flows inside of planets to study the volcanic structures and the thermal evolution of Mars, the Moon, and Venus.

August 26, 2015Sharing Science Online

Tom Mason, a Communications and Outreach specialist at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP), leads the web and social media outreach for MAVEN and LASP. Tom shared information about MAVEN science, recent publications, online data, and social media. MAVEN educators discussed with each other how they are using these materials and what else they would like to have access to in the future.

April 22, 2015NASA’s MAVEN Mission and Mars’ Climate Evolution for Educators

Dr. Mehdi Benna is a planetary scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center who models planetary magnetospheres and exospheres, and as an engineer helps to develop instruments for planetary spacecraft, including instruments for the MAVEN mission. During this webinar, Dr. Benna discussed how data from MAVEN is providing a picture of Mars’ atmospheric and climate evolution, including an update on MAVEN’s current findings.

March 25, 2015Mars, the Sun, and NASA’s MAVEN Mission for Educators

Dr. Laura Peticolas presented on the overall MAVEN education program and showcased one demonstration created for the Invisible Mars: Science on a Sphere project about isotopes and their importance to Mars’ atmosphere.