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Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics

IUVS observation of atomic oxygen

Atomic oxygen scattering ultraviolet sunlight in the upper atmosphere of Mars, imaged by MAVEN’s Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph. Atomic oxygen is produced by the breakdown of carbon dioxide and water. Most oxygen is trapped near the planet, (indicated with a red circle) but some extends high above the planet and shows that that Mars is losing the gas to space. (Courtesy University of Colorado; NASA)

Atomic oxygen scattering ultraviolet sunlight in the upper atmosphere of Mars, imaged by MAVEN’s Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph. Atomic oxygen is produced by the breakdown of carbon dioxide and water. Most oxygen is trapped near the planet, (indicated with a red circle) but some extends high above the planet and shows that that Mars is losing the gas to space. (Courtesy University of Colorado; NASA)