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Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics

IUVS observation of atomic carbon

Atomic carbon scattering ultraviolet sunlight in the upper atmosphere of Mars, imaged by MAVEN’s Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph. Carbon is produced by the breakdown of carbon dioxide, a potent greenhouse gas thought to be abundant in Mars’ past.  Mars is indicated with a red circle; sunlight is illuminating the planet from the right. (Courtesy University of Colorado; NASA)

Atomic carbon scattering ultraviolet sunlight in the upper atmosphere of Mars, imaged by MAVEN’s Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph. Carbon is produced by the breakdown of carbon dioxide, a potent greenhouse gas thought to be abundant in Mars’ past. Mars is indicated with a red circle; sunlight is illuminating the planet from the right. (Courtesy University of Colorado; NASA)