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Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics

IUVS observation of atomic hydrogen

Atomic hydrogen scattering ultraviolet sunlight in the upper atmosphere of Mars, imaged by MAVEN’s Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph. Hydrogen is produced by the breakdown of water, which was once abundant on Mars' surface. Hydrogen is light and weakly bound by gravity, so it extends far from the planet (indicated with a red circle) and can readily escape. (Courtesy University of Colorado; NASA)

Atomic hydrogen scattering ultraviolet sunlight in the upper atmosphere of Mars, imaged by MAVEN’s Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph. Hydrogen is produced by the breakdown of water, which was once abundant on Mars’ surface. Hydrogen is light and weakly bound by gravity, so it extends far from the planet (indicated with a red circle) and can readily escape. (Courtesy University of Colorado; NASA)