Planet Mars in ultraviolet light

It gives us another perspective of the Red Planet – what is it? The US space agency NASA has released photos of this planet. They were taken between July 2022 and January 2023 under special conditions. Thus, we can now see the planet Mars in ultraviolet light.

The red planet has four seasons, just like Earth. Two of them, summer and winter, were photographed. NASA’s ultraviolet imaging spectrograph was used for this.

The planet Mars in ultraviolet light shows it thus in winter.
The planet Mars in ultraviolet light shows it like this in winter.

Extraordinary surface

The devices used by the space agency measure wavelengths between 110 and 3,340 nanometers. This, as is obvious, is outside the visible spectrum. The purple areas are ozone in the atmosphere of the red planet. Meanwhile, the white and blue are clouds and fog in the sky.

“We are observing the planet in ultraviolet wavelengths. It allows scientists to get a better understanding of the Martian atmosphere. And see surface features in an extraordinary way,” NASA stated.

Mars also has four different seasons. However, they are twice as long as those on Earth. What happens is that the Martian year is roughly equivalent to two Earth years. The photo taken in July 2022 shows summer in the southern hemisphere of the red planet. This is the period when Mars is closest to the Sun. Argyre Planitia, one of the planet’s largest basins formed by asteroids, can be seen in the photo. It is filled with atmospheric haze. Also visible is a gigantic canyon system, the cloudy Valles Marineris.

This is the image of the Martian summer.
This is the image of the Martian summer.


The second photo shows the Martian northern hemisphere in winter. This explains the abundance of white clouds. An accumulation of ozone is visible at its north pole (purple). What can we learn about the planet Mars in ultraviolet light? According to NASA, the data received along with the photos improve the understanding of the Martian climate history.

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