What the stars can tell us about Mars’ past

Yesterday we reported on NASA’s new analysis of the rocks of Mars to test the theory that carbon sequestration accounted for the loss of much of the planet’s atmosphere (it appears that it didn’t).

Today, we look at the space agency’s mission at the other end of the scale – the MAVEN spacecraft which is orbiting high above the thin Martian skies to determine how Mars lost its early atmosphere, and with it, its water.

MAVEN is looking for subtle changes in their colour of the stars for clues, as the NASA video above explains.

Previous reports on MAVEN’s mission can be found here.

Bill Condie

Bill Condie

Bill Condie is a science journalist based in Adelaide, Australia.

Read science facts, not fiction...

There’s never been a more important time to explain the facts, cherish evidence-based knowledge and to showcase the latest scientific, technological and engineering breakthroughs. Cosmos is published by The Royal Institution of Australia, a charity dedicated to connecting people with the world of science. Financial contributions, however big or small, help us provide access to trusted science information at a time when the world needs it most. Please support us by making a donation or purchasing a subscription today.