University of Colorado at Boulder University of Colorado CU Home Search A to Z Index Map
Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics

Features, News, & Events

RSS Icon
2017

Large Solar Storm Sparks Global Aurora and Doubles Radiation Levels on the Martian Surface

September 29

An unexpectedly strong blast from the Sun hit Mars this month, observed by NASA missions in orbit and on the surface. The solar event on Sept. 11, 2017 sparked a global aurora at Mars more than 25 times brighter than any previously seen by the MAVEN orbiter, which has been studying the Martian atmosphere’s interaction with the solar wind since 2014. It produced radiation levels on the surface more than double any previously measured by the Curiosity rover’s Radiation Assessment Detector, or RAD, since that mission’s landing in 2012. The high readings lasted more than two days. Strangely, it occurred in conjunction with a spate of solar activity during what is usually a quiet period in the Sun’s 11-year sunspot and storm-activity cycle. This event was big enough to be detected at Earth too, even though Earth was on the opposite side of the Sun from Mars.

(Read more»)
This is a depiction of MAVEN orbiting Mars.

1,000 Days in Orbit: MAVEN’s Top 10 Discoveries at Mars

June 16

On June 17, the MAVEN mission celebrated 1,000 days in orbit around the Red Planet. Since its launch in November 2013 and its orbit insertion in September 2014, MAVEN has been exploring the upper atmosphere of Mars. MAVEN is bringing insight to how the sun stripped Mars of most of its atmosphere, turning a planet once possibly habitable to microbial life into a barren desert world.

(Read more»)

MAVEN Discovers Metals in Mars’ Atmosphere

April 10

Mars has electrically charged metal atoms (ions) high in its atmosphere, according to new MAVEN results. The metal ions can reveal previously invisible activity in the mysterious electrically charged upper atmosphere (ionosphere) of Mars.

(Read more»)

MAVEN Reveals Most of Mars’ Atmosphere Was Lost to Space

March 30

Solar wind and radiation are responsible for stripping the Martian atmosphere, transforming Mars from a planet that could have supported life billions of years ago into a frigid desert world, according to new results from NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft.

(Read more»)

MAVEN Steers Clear of Mars Moon Phobos

March 2

NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft performed a previously unscheduled maneuver this week to avoid a collision in the near future with Mars’ moon Phobos.

MAVEN has been orbiting Mars for just over two years, studying the Red Planet’s upper atmosphere, ionosphere and interactions with the sun and solar wind. On Tuesday the spacecraft carried out a rocket motor burn that boosted its velocity by 0.4 meters per second (less than 1 mile per hour). Although a small correction, it was enough that—projected to one week later when the collision would otherwise have occurred—MAVEN would miss the lumpy, crater-filled moon by about 2.5 minutes.

This is the first collision avoidance maneuver that the MAVEN spacecraft has performed at Mars to steer clear of Phobos. The orbits of both MAVEN and Phobos are known well enough that this timing difference ensures that they will not collide.

(Read more»)
2016

MAVEN Observes Ups and Downs of Water Escape from Mars

October 19, 2016
(Read this post»)

MAVEN Gives Unprecedented Ultraviolet View of Mars

October 17, 2016
(Read this post»)

MAVEN Celebrates One Mars Year of Science

October 3, 2016
(Read this post»)

MAVEN data used for award-winning NASA Scientific Visualization Studio video

May 13, 2016
(Read this post»)

Close Comet Flyby Threw Mars’ Magnetic Field Into Chaos

March 9, 2016
(Read this post»)

MAVEN Observes Mars Moon Phobos in the Mid- and Far-Ultraviolet

February 29, 2016
(Read this post»)
2015

MAVEN Reveals Speed of Solar Wind Stripping Martian Atmosphere

November 5, 2015
(Read this post»)

NASA to Announce New Findings on Fate of Mars’ Atmosphere

November 2, 2015
(Read this post»)

MAVEN Celebrates One Year at Mars

September 22, 2015
(Read this post»)

VIDEO: Mapping Mars’ Upper Atmosphere

September 2, 2015
(Read this post»)

MAVEN Results Find Mars Behaving Like a Rock Star

June 20, 2015
(Read this post»)

Mars Missions to Pause Commanding in June, Due to Sun

June 3, 2015
(Read this post»)

Auroras on Mars

May 14, 2015
(Read this post»)

Traffic Around Mars Gets Busy

May 5, 2015
(Read this post»)

MAVEN Completes 1,000 Orbits around Mars

April 8, 2015
(Read this post»)

MAVEN Detects Aurora and Mysterious Dust Cloud around Mars

March 18, 2015
(Read this post»)

MAVEN Completes First Deep Dip Campaign

February 19, 2015
(Read this post»)
2014

MAVEN Identifies Links in Chain Leading to Atmospheric Loss

December 15, 2014
(Read this post»)

MAVEN Completes Commissioning And Begins Its Primary Science Mission

November 17, 2014
(Read this post»)

Newest NASA Mars Orbiter Demonstrates Relay Prowess

November 10, 2014
(Read this post»)

Mars Spacecraft Reveal Comet Flyby Effects on Martian Atmosphere

November 7, 2014
(Read this post»)

NASA to Discuss Science Findings of Oct. 19 Comet Flyby of Mars

November 5, 2014
(Read this post»)

MAVEN Continues Mars Exploration Begun 50 Years Ago by Mariner 4

November 4, 2014
(Read this post»)

MAVEN Ultraviolet Image of Comet Siding Spring’s Hydrogen Coma

October 23, 2014
(Read this post»)

MAVEN Studies Passing Comet and Its Effects

October 20, 2014
(Read this post»)

NASA Reports MAVEN Mission’s First Look at Mars

October 14, 2014
(Read this post»)

NASA Shares What MAVEN Spacecraft Has Seen in its First Few Weeks at Mars

October 10, 2014
(Read this post»)

NASA Prepares its Science Fleet for Oct. 19 Mars Comet Encounter

October 9, 2014
(Read this post»)

MAVEN Spacecraft Returns First Mars Observations

September 24, 2014
(Read this post»)

Coronal Mass Ejections at Mars

September 23, 2014
(Read this post»)

MAVEN spacecraft enters orbit around Mars

September 22, 2014
(Read this post»)

MAVEN Spacecraft Ready for Sept. 21 Orbit Insertion

September 17, 2014
(Read this post»)

MAVEN makes final preparations for Mars

September 8, 2014
(Read this post»)

MAVEN Solar Wind Ion Analyzer Will Look at Key Player in Mars Atmosphere Loss

May 15, 2014
(Read this post»)

MAVEN on Track to Carry Out its Science Mission

February 4, 2014
(Read this post»)
2013

Goddard Planetary Instruments Score a Hat Trick

December 6, 2013
(Read this post»)

Mission Managers Hail Successful MAVEN Launch

November 19, 2013
(Read this post»)

NASA Launches MAVEN to Study Upper Atmosphere of Mars

November 19, 2013
(Read this post»)

Mission Manager a Modern Mr. Fix-it

November 16, 2013
(Read this post»)

LeVar Burton Shares MAVEN’s Story in a New NASA PSA

November 14, 2013
(Read this post»)

MAVEN Seeks to Solve Another Mars Riddle

November 14, 2013
(Read this post»)

NASA Video Illustrates MAVEN Mission’s Investigation of a Lost Mars

November 13, 2013
(Read this post»)

MAVEN Solar Wind Electron Analyzer Seeks Answers at Microscopic Levels

November 12, 2013
(Read this post»)

MAVEN Launch Day Coverage

November 9, 2013
(Read this post»)

What MAVEN Would See at Mars on Halloween

October 31, 2013
(Read this post»)

NASA Prepares to Launch First Mission to Explore Mars’ Upper Atmosphere

October 28, 2013
(Read this post»)

Communications Tests Go the Distance for MAVEN

September 20, 2013
(Read this post»)

MAVEN Paces Through Prelaunch Prep

September 6, 2013
(Read this post»)

MAVEN Eyes Mars as Launch Preparations Begin

August 9, 2013
(Read this post»)

MAVEN haiku selected for travel to Mars

August 8, 2013
(Read this post»)

NASA Begins Launch Preparations for Next Mars Mission

August 5, 2013
(Read this post»)

MAVEN Spectrometer Opens Window to Red Planet’s Past

July 18, 2013
(Read this post»)

Public voting opens on MAVEN haiku contest

July 15, 2013
(Read this post»)

MAVEN’s Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph May Help Paint Total Atmospheric Picture

June 17, 2013
(Read this post»)

MAVEN Student Art Contest Winner Announced

May 20, 2013
(Read this post»)

NASA Invites Public to Send Names And Messages to Mars

May 1, 2013
(Read this post»)

Final MAVEN Instrument Integrated to Spacecraft

April 3, 2013
(Read this post»)

Measuring Mars: The MAVEN Magnetometer

March 26, 2013
(Read this post»)

MAVEN invites the public to come aboard

March 15, 2013
(Read this post»)

PRESS RELEASE: MAVEN Particles and Fields Package Integrated

March 14, 2013
(Read this post»)

PRESS RELEASE: MAVEN Completes Assembly, Begins Environmental Testing

February 8, 2013
(Read this post»)
2012

MAVEN Science Community Workshop – Presentations

December 10, 2012
(Read this post»)

PRESS RELEASE: Instrument Delivered for NASA’s Upcoming Mars Mission

November 16, 2012
(Read this post»)

PRESS RELEASE: Next Mars Mission Enters Final Phase Before Launch

September 11, 2012
(Read this post»)

MAVEN Profiles: Carlos Gomez-Rosa

May 30, 2012
(Read this post»)

PRESS RELEASE: NASA Goddard Delivers MAVEN Magnetometers

May 21, 2012
(Read this post»)

MAVEN Profiles: Sandra Cauffman

April 26, 2012
(Read this post»)

PHOTO RELEASE: NASA’s MAVEN Spacecraft and Propellant Tank at Lockheed Martin

April 16, 2012
(Read this post»)

A stressful test

February 27, 2012
(Read this post»)
2011

MAVEN team members bring mission science to rural West Virginia students

December 12, 2011
(Read this post»)

New NASA Missions to Investigate How Mars Turned Hostile

November 18, 2011
(Read this post»)

PRESS RELEASE: MAVEN Mission Primary Structure Complete

September 26, 2011
(Read this post»)

PRESS RELEASE: LASP-led mission to Mars achieves major milestone

July 22, 2011
(Read this post»)
2010

PRESS RELEASE: NASA Awards Launch Services Contract for MAVEN Mission

October 21, 2010
(Read this post»)

PRESS RELEASE: NASA gives LASP-led Mars mission green light

October 5, 2010
(Read this post»)

MAVEN mission to investigate how sun steals Martian atmosphere

October 5, 2010
(Read this post»)
2008

NASA selects CU-Boulder to lead $485 million Mars mission

September 15, 2008
(Read this post»)

NASA selects MAVEN mission to study Mars atmosphere

September 15, 2008
(Read this post»)