Using data from NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft, researchers created the first map of air circulation in the upper atmosphere of Mars.
The new map of Mars winds helps scientists better understand the functioning of the Martian climate, giving them a more accurate picture of its ancient past and its ongoing development.
“The observed global circulation provides important inputs needed to constrain global atmospheric models,” said Mehdi Banna of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
“These are the same models used to propagate Marten climate conditions in the distant past,” said Bena in the first paper published in the journal Science.
The MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN Mission) celebrated the five-year anniversary of its entry into orbit around Mars on 21 September.
The mission’s primary scientific goal is to study what is left of Mars’ atmosphere to determine how, in the distant past, an ocean-covered and potentially habitable Mars would become a dry and desolate place today. has gone.
Kali Roten of the University of Michigan said, “The winds observed in the Martian upper atmosphere are sometimes similar to those we see in global model simulations, but may vary greatly at other times.”
“These winds can be highly variable at rush hour, yet in other cases, consistent during the observation period, Roeten said in another paper published in the Journal of Geophysical Research — Planets.
The upper atmospheric winds on Earth have already been mapped in detail.
Winds carry out a series of processes in the atmosphere that can affect the propagation of radio waves, which are important for communication purposes to those on the surface, and will predict the path satellites will have in their orbit around the Earth.
Therefore, mapping the winds of Mars is an important step towards understanding the characteristics of the supernatural environment beyond what we know about processes on Earth.
The upper atmospheric winds on both Earth and Mars are in the respective thermospheres of the planets, which are regions where the temperature increases with altitude.
This discovery was the first identification of topography-induced gravity wave waves in any planet, even the Earth’s thermosphere.