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On this page you will find thumbnail images, visualizations, and other MAVEN science data products that have been released to the public. Click on the thumbnail for a full-resolution version of the product and accompanying captions and credits.

Jump to MAVEN Science Nuggets or MAVEN Science Publications

Image/Graphic Title/Description Release date Format (Size)
Phobos as observed by MAVEN's Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph. Orange shows mid-ultraviolet (MUV) sunlight reflected from the surface of Phobos, exposing the moon's irregular shape and many craters. Blue shows far ultraviolet light detected at 121.6 nm, which is scattered off of hydrogen gas in the extended upper atmosphere of Mars. Phobos, observed here at a range of 300km, blocks this light, eclipsing the ultraviolet sky. On the dayside of Phobos, some bright blue pixels indicate that the moon is reflecting far-UV light, which will allow for the first time a measurement of Phobos' reflectivity at this wavelength, adding to an extremely limited database of measured far-UV reflectivity of small bodies in the solar system. (Courtesy CU/LASP and NASA) Phobos as observed by MAVEN IUVS
Orange shows mid-ultraviolet (MUV) sunlight reflected from the surface of Phobos, exposing the moon’s irregular shape and many craters. Blue shows far ultraviolet light detected at 121.6 nm, which is scattered off of hydrogen gas in the extended upper atmosphere of Mars. Phobos, observed here at a range of 300km, blocks this light, eclipsing the ultraviolet sky. (more)
    Feb. 29, 2016   PNG (119 KB)
In this artist’s concept, the solar wind interacts with Mars’ upper atmosphere, but is deflected past Earth by a global magnetic field. (Courtesy NASA/GSFC) The solar wind at Mars and Earth
In this artist’s concept, the solar wind interacts with Mars’ upper atmosphere, but is deflected past Earth by a global magnetic field. (Courtesy NASA/GSFC)
    Nov. 5, 2015   PNG (11 MB)
Average solar wind flow at Mars as observed by the MAVEN spacecraft. The red color corresponds with higher observed solar wind densities. (Courtesy NASA/GSFC) Observed average solar wind flow at Mars
Average solar wind flow at Mars as observed by the MAVEN spacecraft. The red color corresponds with higher observed solar wind densities. (Courtesy NASA/GSFC)
    Nov. 5, 2015   JPG (9 MB)
A solar storm approaches Mars in this artist's concept. The Red Planet is thought to have lost much of its atmosphere to such extreme space weather. (Courtesy NASA/GSFC) Mars in the path of a solar storm
A solar storm approaches Mars in this artist’s concept. The Red Planet is thought to have lost much of its atmosphere to such extreme space weather. (Courtesy NASA/GSFC)
    Nov. 5, 2015   PNG (10 MB)
An artist’s rendition depicts a solar storm hitting Mars and stripping ions from the upper atmosphere. (Courtesy NASA GSFC) Mars solar storm ion loss
An artist’s rendition depicts a solar storm hitting Mars and stripping ions from the upper atmosphere. (Courtesy NASA GSFC)
    Nov. 5, 2015   JPG (10 MB)
O+ ion flux chart as observed by the MAVEN spacecraft, showing tailward escape, which accounts for about 75% of the flux, and escape from the polar plume. (Courtesy NASA/GSFC) Observed O+ ion flux chart
O+ ion flux chart as observed by the MAVEN spacecraft, showing tailward escape, which accounts for about 75% of the flux, and escape from the polar plume. (Courtesy NASA/GSFC)
    Nov. 5, 2015   PNG (4 MB)
Computer simulation of the interaction of the solar wind with electrically charged particles (ions) in Mars' upper atmosphere. The lines represent the paths of individual ions and the colors represent their energy, and show that the polar plume (red) contains the most-energetic ions. (Courtesy X. Fang, University of Colorado, and the MAVEN science team) Computer simulation of Mars’ polar plume
Computer simulation of the interaction of the solar wind with electrically charged particles (ions) in Mars’ upper atmosphere. The lines represent the paths of individual ions and the colors represent their energy, and show that the polar plume (red) contains the most-energetic ions. (Courtesy X. Fang, University of Colorado, and the MAVEN science team)
    June 19, 2015   JPG (430 KB)
IUVS_aurora_1 IUVS Observes the “Christmas lights aurora” on Mars
Shown here is an artist’s conception of MAVEN’s Imaging UltraViolet Spectrograph (IUVS) observing the “Christmas Lights Aurora” on Mars. MAVEN observations show that aurora on Mars is similar to Earth’s “Northern Lights” but has a different origin.
(Courtesy CU/LASP)
    Mar. 18, 2015   JPG (211 KB)
IUVS_aurora_2c IUVS Map of Ultraviolet Aurora on Mars
Shown here is a map of the MAVEN IUVS auroral detections in December 2014 overlaid on Mars’ surface. The map shows that the aurora was widespread in the northern hemisphere, not tied to any geographic location. The aurora was detected in all observations during a 5-day period, though no data were taken in the southern hemisphere and some regions in the northern hemisphere were missed.
(Courtesy CU/LASP)
    Mar. 18, 2015   JPG (635 KB)
MAVEN_LPW_dust LPW Observes Dust in Mars Upper Atmosphere
This illustration—with the sun to the right—shows where the MAVEN Langmuir Probe and Waves (LPW) instrument observes low altitude dust in Mars’ upper atmosphere. The blue circle marks the altitude of 300 km.
(Courtesy CU/LASP)
    Mar. 18, 2015   PNG (142 KB)
1-Mars_limb MAVEN Spacecraft Carrying Out Science Operations at Mars
This artist’s conception shows the MAVEN spacecraft carrying out science operations at Mars. MAVEN has been in science mode since mid-November 2014.
(Courtesy NASA/GSFC)
    Dec. 15, 2014   JPG (329 KB)
2-Mars_atmosphere The Solar Wind and its Interaction with Mars’ Ionosphere
Illustration (not to scale) showing the ability of the upstream bow shock and the magnetic field induced in the ionosphere to push the solar wind around the planet. As a result, the solar wind should not hit the ionosphere directly or penetrate deeply into the upper atmosphere. MAVEN’s orbit early in the mission is shown schematically.
(Courtesy NASA/GSFC)
    Dec. 15, 2014   JPG (466 KB)
6-SWIA_measurements MAVEN SWIA Ion Measurements
SWIA measurements of the solar wind. At the highest altitudes (2,880 – 5,640 km), you can see the peaks at the correct energy/charge ratio for H+ and He++ in the free upstream solar wind. At intermediate altitudes (250 – 380 km), these peaks are not present, suggesting that the solar wind has not penetrated to these altitudes. However, the H+ peak shows up again at lower altitudes. (more)
    Dec. 15, 2014   JPG (683 KB)
7-Mars_new_ion_population Deep Penetration of Neutralized Solar Wind Ions
The proposed explanation for these SWIA observations is that the charged solar wind ions are neutralized by “charge exchange” reactions in the ionosphere. As neutrals, they are not pushed around the planet but can penetrate deeply. At lower altitudes, these same charge-exchange reactions can turn them back into ions, still traveling at the same speed as the initial solar-wind ions. (more)
    Dec. 15, 2014   JPG (312 KB)
8-Mars_atmospheric_reservoirs Mars Atmospheric Reservoirs
This schematic demonstrates the relationship between solar-energy input, the composition of Mars’ upper atmosphere, and the composition of the lower atmosphere. This leads into the discussion of NGIMS results on the subsequent charts. NGIMS is able to measure the abundances of neutral and ionized atoms and molecules in the upper atmosphere.
(Courtesy NASA/GSFC)
    Dec. 15, 2014   JPG (645 KB)
9-Mass_Spectra MAVEN NGIMS Mass Spectrum
Mass spectrum obtained by NGIMS showing the different neutral and ionized species in the upper atmosphere and ionosphere. Although the composition at these altitudes has been measured twice, by the Viking lander entry vehicles, MAVEN represents the first comprehensive measurements at these altitudes.
(Courtesy Paul Mahaffy/GSFC)
    Dec. 15, 2014   JPG (746 KB)
10-NGIMS_orbit265 NGIMS Measurements of Neutrals During One Orbit
Detailed measurements of neutrals during one pass of the MAVEN spacecraft through low altitudes (down to about 170 km). The data show that the ratio of species to each other changes with altitude, and also show that there is significant structure that is likely due to dynamical phenomena such as waves and upper-atmospheric weather.
(Courtesy Paul Mahaffy/GSFC)
    Dec. 15, 2014   JPG (828 KB)
11-NGIMS_orbit264 NGIMS Measurements of Ions During One Orbit
Detailed measurements of ions during one pass of the MAVEN spacecraft through low altitudes (down to about 170 km). The data show that the ratio of species to each other changes with altitude, and also show that there is significant structure that is likely due to dynamical phenomena such as waves and upper-atmospheric weather.
(Courtesy Paul Mahaffy/GSFC)
    Dec. 15, 2014   JPG (790 KB)
12-STATIC_instrument STATIC Instrument on the MAVEN Spacecraft
This graphic shows the STATIC instrument on the MAVEN spacecraft. STATIC is able to measure the composition and velocity of ions, allowing us to determine escape rates at the present epoch.
(Courtesy NASA/GSFC/UCB-SSL)
    Dec. 15, 2014   JPG (641 KB)
13-Mars_ion_species Sample Spectra from MAVEN STATIC Instrument
A sample spectra from the MAVEN STATIC instrument, showing the ions that it can measure.
(Courtesy Jim McFadden/UCB-SSL)
    Dec. 15, 2014   JPG (865 KB)
17-Mars_ionospheric_acceleration STATIC Measurements of Composition and Energy of Ions
This series shows the composition and energy of ions as the MAVEN spacecraft moved from low (~250 km) to higher (~500 km) altitudes. At the higher altitudes, the ions have been accelerated, as indicated by their higher energy. We are seeing the acceleration from low-energy to higher energy as the ions are driven to escape speeds.
(Courtesy Jim McFadden/UCB-SSL)
    Dec. 15, 2014   JPG (2 MB)
18-Mars_atmospheric_escape STATIC Measures Escaping Polar Plume of Ions
This schematic illustration depicts the acceleration of ions from low-energy to higher energy, which leads to an escaping polar plume of ions.
(Courtesy NASA/GSFC)
    Dec. 15, 2014   JPG (412 KB)
Benna_4 Ions of Eight Metals from Comet Dust Detected in Mars Atmosphere
Data from NGIMS identified metal ions added to Mars’ atmosphere shortly after comet Siding Spring sped close to Mars. NGIMS directly samples the composition of Mars’ upper atmosphere when the spacecraft dips into the top of the atmosphere during each orbit. These graphs show count rates of specific types of metal ions from each of multiple dips between Oct. 18 & Oct. 23, 2014. (more)
    Nov. 7, 2014   JPG (3 MB)
Comet Put Magnesium and Iron into Martian Atmosphere
This graph shows detection of metals added to the Martian atmosphere from dust particles released by a passing comet. The data are from the IUVS, which recorded the intensities of emission by ingredients in the Martian atmosphere just before (blue line) and after (red line) comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring sped within about 87,000 mi (139,500 km) of Mars on Oct. 19, 2014. (more)
    Nov. 7, 2014   JPG (651 KB)
Siding Spring HLyA_thumb Ultraviolet Image of Comet Siding Spring’s Hydrogen Coma
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 IUVS instrument imaged the comet at a distance of 5.3 million mi (8.5 million km). The image shows sunlight that has been scattered by atomic hydrogen, and is shown as blue in this false-color representation. (more)
    Oct. 23, 2014   JPG (836 KB)
MAVEN_H_10_14_14 IUVS observation of atomic hydrogen
Atomic hydrogen scattering ultraviolet sunlight in the upper atmosphere of Mars, imaged by the MAVEN IUVS. 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. (more)
    Oct. 14, 2014   PNG (128 KB)
MAVEN_O_10_14_14 IUVS observation of atomic carbon
Atomic carbon scattering ultraviolet sunlight in the upper atmosphere of Mars, imaged by the MAVEN IUVS. 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. (more)
    Oct. 14, 2014   PNG (293 KB)
MAVEN_O_10_14_14 IUVS observation of atomic oxygen
Atomic oxygen scattering ultraviolet sunlight in the upper atmosphere of Mars, imaged by the MAVEN IUVS. 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. (more)
    Oct. 14, 2014   PNG (194 KB)
MAVEN_ozone_thumb IUVS observation of Mars’ ozone column
The geographical distribution of ozone in the southern hemisphere of Mars, imaged by the MAVEN IUVS. On Mars, ozone is primarily destroyed by the combined action of water vapor and sunlight. The cold, dark conditions near the pole allow ozone to accumulate there. (more)
    Oct. 14, 2014   PNG (583 KB)
sep_thumb First SEP event observations
This image shows the sequence of events leading up to the first SEP event observed by MAVEN at Mars. The top panel shows the distance between MAVEN and Mars as a function of time. The bottom panel shows Energetic Ion Flux as a function of particle energy (vertical axis) and time (horizontal axis). (more)
    Oct. 14, 2014   PNG (226 KB)
stereo_anim ENLIL model of Sept. 26, 2014 CME
This animation shows the evolution of the Sept. 26, 2014, coronal mass ejection shock front as it propagates toward Mars as generated by the WSA-Cone-ENLIL model simulations performed at the NASA Community Coordinated Modeling Center. The color map represents the density of the solar wind plasma in the inner heliosphere from near the sun out to twice the distance of Earth’s orbit. (Courtesy NASA/GSFC)
    Oct. 14, 2014   GIF (1.0 MB)
MAVEN IUVS first light IUVS first light
The MAVEN IUVS instrument obtained these false-color images eight hours after the successful completion of Mars orbit insertion by the MAVEN spacecraft at 10:24 p.m. EDT Sunday, Sept. 21. The image shows the planet from an altitude of 36,500 km in three ultraviolet wavelength bands. (more)
    Sept. 23, 2014   JPG (479 KB)

MAVEN Science Nuggets

Image/Graphic Title/Description Release date Format (Size)
Dynamic Electrons MAVEN finds dynamic electrons at Mars
MAVEN has observed the dispersal of electrons in the vicinity of strong Martian crustal magnetic fields, similar to processes seen in the global magnetic field at Earth.
    May 20, 2016   PDF (6 MB)
Mars ionosphere MAVEN maps the planetary ion fluxes near Mars
The ionosphere of Mars plays a critical role in the loss of atmospheric gases and water to space. MAVEN has provided the first measurements of the composition of the ionosphere of Mars since Viking in 1976. Unlike Viking, which provided measurements at only one time of day, MAVEN has generated the first map of the full day/night structure of the ionosphere.
    Dec. 7, 2015   PDF (547 KB)
MAVEN polar plume ions MAVEN Finds Escaping Ions Form “Mohawk” Pattern of Polar Plumes
MAVEN has found that Mars sports a “Mohawk” of escaping atmospheric particles at its poles which may be the major source of gas loss to space.
    June 25, 2015   PDF (183 KB)
MAVEN_LPW_dust MAVEN Observes Mysterious Dust Cloud Surrounding Mars
MAVEN observed an unexplained high-altitude dust cloud around Mars. The presence of the dust at orbital altitudes from about 93 miles (150 kilometers) to 190 miles (300 kilometers) above the surface was not predicted. Although the source and composition of the dust are unknown, there is no hazard to MAVEN and other spacecraft orbiting Mars.
    March 23, 2015   PDF (282 KB)
IUVS_aurora_2c MAVEN Detects Unexpected Aurora on Mars
MAVEN observed what scientists have named “Christmas lights”. For five days just before Christmas 2014, MAVEN’s IUVS saw a bright ultraviolet auroral glow spanning Mars’ northern hemisphere. The diffuse glow is distributed throughout the northern hemisphere and, unlike previous measurements of aurora on Mars, had no connection to magnetic anomalies.
    March 23, 2015   PDF (367 KB)
Siding Spring HLyA_thumb Ultraviolet image of Comet Siding Spring’s Hydrogen Coma
MAVEN obtained this ultraviolet image of hydrogen surrounding comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) on October 17, 2014, two days before the comet’s closest approach to Mars. The 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 hydrogen, and is shown as blue in this false-color representation.
    Jan. 12, 2015   PDF (345 KB)
SEP_nugget Particles and Fields cruise observations
Solar wind data from MAVEN SWIA (J.S. Halekas) and OMNIWeb (N. Papitashvili), SEP fluxes from MAVEN SEP (D. Larson) and ACE EPAM (R. Gold)
    July 2, 2014   PDF (287 KB)
MAVEN_First_Mars_Light IUVS cruise observations
IUVS made calibration observations of Mars on May 21, 2014, four months before Mars Orbit Insertion. Despite Mars’ great distance, IUVS detected the planet and obtained a spectrum of Mars’ sunlit disk in the mid-UV range. (more)
    June 3, 2014   PDF (108 KB)