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Maven: Studying Mysteries of the Red Planet
Created by NASA Wavelength Last updated 11/12/2014
Ancient riverbeds, crater lakes and flood channels all attest to Mars's warm, watery past. So how did the Red Planet evolve from a once hospitable world into the cold, dry desert that we see today? One possibility is that Mars lost its early atmosphere, allowing its water to escape into space. NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft has arrived at Mars to investigate just that! Following are educational resources, visualizations, videos and more related to MAVEN and Mars.
- NASA's MAVEN spacecraft has reached Mars and it is beaming back "First Light" images of the Red Planet's upper atmosphere. The data could help researchers understand what transformed Mars from a hospitable planet billions of years ago into a desiccated wasteland today.
- This Science On a Sphere (SOS) module is designed to help the public better understand the story of water on Mars and how we're learning more about it. The module portrays the mystery of what happened to the water on Mars in the context of a detective story.
- This short video (4:30) gives an overview of the Maven Mission.
- In this activity, students interpret real spectral graphs from missions to determine what some of Earth, Venus, and Mars’ atmosphere is composed of and then mathematically compare the amount of the greenhouse gas, CO2, on the planets Venus, Earth, and Mars in order to determine which has the most. The activity is part of Project Spectra, a science and engineering program for middle-high school students, focusing on how light is used to explore the Solar System.
- This page links to several short videos, animations and visualizations related to the MAVEN mission to Mars.