Credit: NASA/GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Martian atmospheric loss. Animation showing the planet Mars losing its atmosphere by solar plasma processes. When high-energy solar photons strike the upper Martian atmosphere they can ionize gas molecules, causing the atmosphere to erode over time. This may have helped to drive the Martian atmosphere into space over billions of years. Currently, Mars is a rocky desert world with no surface water. The atmosphere is mostly carbon dioxide and Martian surface temperatures are well below freezing. Most of the water and atmosphere were lost to space, or locked up underground in deposits of ice. NASA's MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission) spacecraft will allow scientists to study how and why Mars lost its atmosphere (and thus its water). It is thought that several processes have had an impact on the process. See clips K004/1390 to K004/1392 for animations of these processes.

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Keywords: animated, atmosphere, atmospheric, climate change animation, desert, evolution, graphic, high energy, hypotheses, hypothesis, mars, mars atmosphere and volatile evolution mission, martian, maven, photons, planet, planetary, plasma, research, solar particles, solar system, solar wind, space, theories, theory, water loss, wet

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Martian atmospheric loss

K004/1391 Rights Managed

Downloadable master

Duration: 00:00:45

Frame size: 1280x720

Frame rate: 29.97

Audio: No

Format: QuickTime, Photo JPEG 100%, progressive scan, square pixels

File size: 444.6M

Original

Capture format: QuickTime Animation

Codec: Apple ProRes 422

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