Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan

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New findings from NASA’s MAVEN show a varied atmosphere on Mars

Posted: November 6, 2015

New findings from NASA’s MAVEN show a varied atmosphere on Mars Image Credit: NASA/Goddard

New data was released this week from NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) probe, which arrived at Mars in September 2014 to study the planet's atmosphere.

Professor Stephen Bougher, a co-investigator on the MAVEN team, was the lead author on one of the studies released this week. His study describes the in situ measurements of the Mars thermosphere, which had not been measured since the Viking landers arrived 40 years ago.

According to The Guardian, Bougher’s study “found that Mars has a varied and changeable atmosphere, with more oxygen than expected and what he called ‘wild variations’ in temperature.”

To read Bougher’s study, please visit sciencemag.org. Bougher is quoted in news articles from Popular Mechanics, Business Insider, Wired, The Guardian, The Verge and Motherboard.

Professor Michael Liemohn also spoke about the mission with The New York Times and NPR.

Professor Mike Combi and Emeritus Professor Andy Nagy are also involved with MAVEN. The Space Physics Research Laboratory (SPRL) built a number of the subsystems of the MAVEN Neutral Gas and Ion Mass Spectrometer (NGIMS).

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