November 13, 2013
MAVEN Readies For Launch To Mars
NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission launches next week and will be trying to find why Mars is losing its atmosphere. An instrument aboard the craft called the Solar Wind Electron Analyzer is designed to analyze patterns in electrons between Mars’ ionosphere and the solar wind, where most planetary material is being lost. But MAVEN is also looking to understand the layout of magnetic fields around Mars. Because Mars’ magnetic field is generated mostly by magnetized rock in its crust, the Red Planet has many localized magnetic fields that rotate with the planet every Martian day. The reaction between these magnetic fields and the solar winds allow for different ways for the charged particles to exit. And MAVEN will find out how that happens!
[ Read the Article: NASA’s MAVEN Mission Will Help Study Mars’ Depleting Atmosphere ]