Martian orbiting satellites MAVEN and Mangalyaan transmitted the first photos of Mars

    The first picture taken by the American device MAVEN

    It seems that all the systems of the MAVEN satellite , which arrived in the orbit of Mars only 4 days ago, are functioning normally. Now NASA experts have published the first photographs of Mars taken by the satellite at a distance of 36 thousand kilometers from the surface of the Red Planet.

    Photographs taken by the Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph (IUVS) instrument (UV spectrograph) after 8 hours of arrival in orbit. The photos themselves were edited in a graphical editor, the colors are not real, the operator selected to show the results of various shooting modes.

    A blue photograph shows the passage of sunlight through the clouds of Mars, with the scattering of radiation in atomic hydrogen. The clouds are thousands of kilometers above the surface of the planet.

    A green photograph shows the scattering of solar radiation in atomic oxygen.

    And red shows the scattering of solar radiation in the ice of the polar zone.

    The fourth photograph is a hybrid image collected from the previous three photographs.

    It is worth noting that oxygen is closer to the surface of Mars than hydrogen, since the element itself is heavier. Both hydrogen and oxygen are formed as a result of the decay of water molecules and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of Mars. One of the tasks of an orbiting satellite is to determine the rate of escape of these gases from the atmosphere of Mars. Such data will allow us to calculate the loss of water by Mars over the time since the existence of liquid water on the surface of the Red Planet to the present day.

    UPD : The Indian satellite Mangalyaan also sent a photograph of the surface of Mars, the first and so far the only photograph since entering a permanent orbit.

    The first shot taken by the Indian apparatus Mangalyaan

    Mangalyaan will search for traces of methane in the atmosphere of Mars. Methane, in turn, may indicate the presence of living organisms in the past of Mars. On the other hand, this gas, an organic compound, can also be formed without any participation of living organisms (it is worth recalling Titan).

    The Indians are pleased with the success of their project.

    As far as one can judge, the Indian and American satellites are operating normally, and their scientific instruments are gradually being put into operation.

    Via NASA

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