Features, News, & Events
The MAVEN spacecraft obtained an ultraviolet image of hydrogen surrounding comet Siding Spring on Friday, October 17th, two days before the comet’s closest approach to Mars. The Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph (IUVS) instrument imaged the comet at a distance of 5.3 million miles (8.5 million kilometers). The image shows sunlight that has been scattered by atomic […](Read more»)
NASA’s newest orbiter at Mars, MAVEN, took precautions to avoid harm from a dust-spewing comet that flew nearby today and is studying the flyby’s effects on Mars’ atmosphere.
The MAVEN spacecraft—full name Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution—reported back to Earth in good health after about three hours of precautions against a possible collision with high-velocity dust particles released by comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring.(Read more»)
The MAVEN spacecraft observed a storm of energetic solar particles at Mars, made unprecedented images of the tenuous oxygen and hydrogen coronas surrounding the Red Planet, and produced the most comprehensive all-at-once map of Martian atmospheric ozone ever made. The spacecraft entered Mars’ orbit Sunday, Sept. 21, and is in the process of lowering its orbit and testing its instruments. MAVEN was launched toward Mars on November 18, 2013, to help solve the mystery of how the Red Planet lost most of its atmosphere.(Read more»)
NASA will host a news teleconference at 2 p.m. EDT Tuesday, Oct. 14, to announce early science results from the MAVEN mission.
Launched in November 2013, the spacecraft entered orbit around Mars on Sept. 21 completing an interplanetary journey of 10 months and 442 million miles (711 million kilometers). MAVEN is the first spacecraft devoted to exploring and understanding the Martian upper atmosphere to help scientists understand climate change over the Red Planet’s history.(Read more»)
NASA’s extensive fleet of science assets, particularly those orbiting and roving Mars, have front row seats to image and study a once-in-a-lifetime comet flyby on Sunday, Oct. 19.
Comet C/2013 A1, also known as comet Siding Spring, will pass within about 87,000 miles (139,500 kilometers) of the Red Planet—less than half the distance between Earth and our moon and less than one-tenth the distance of any known comet flyby of Earth.
Siding Spring’s nucleus will come closest to Mars around 2:27 p.m. EDT, hurtling at about 126,000 mph (56 kilometers per second). This proximity will provide an unprecedented opportunity for researchers to gather data on both the comet and its effect on the Martian atmosphere.(Read more»)