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First Results on Mars and the Siding Spring Meteor Shower from MAVEN’s Imaging UV Spectrograph

Event Details

Event Dates: 

Monday, March 30, 2015 - 4:00pm

Seminar Location: 

  • JILA Auditorium

Speaker Name(s): 

Nick Schneider

Speaker Affiliation(s): 

Seminar Type/Subject

Scientific Seminar Type: 

  • Astrophysical & Planetary Sciences Seminar

Event Details & Abstract: 

The MAVEN mission to Mars is designed to study the upper atmosphere and its response to external drivers, searching for clues to the cause of long-term atmospheric loss. MAVEN carries the Imaging UV Spectrograph (IUVS) for remote sensing studies of the atmosphere through vertical scans from the limb through the corona, UV imaging of the planet and stellar occultations. Each observational mode has successfully observed the spectral features and spatial distributions as intended, confirming and expanding our understanding of the Mars upper atmosphere as observed by the Mariner spacecraft and Mars Express. Furthermore, IUVS witnessed the aftermath of an intense meteor shower on Mars caused by Comet Siding Spring. For a period of many hours, the planet’s UV spectrum was dominated by emission from ionized magnesium deposited by meteor ablation in the upper atmosphere. http://marsmobile.jpl.nasa.gov/news/whatsnew/index.cfm? FuseAction=ShowNews&NewsID=1732