Mars Spacecraft, Including MAVEN, Reveal Comet Flyby Effects on Martian Atmosphere

Mars Spacecraft, Including MAVEN, Reveal Comet Flyby Effects on Martian Atmosphere
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  pdfcrowd.comopen in browserPRO version Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API Featured Research from universities, journals, and  other organizations Date:Source:Summary: November 7, 2014University of Colorado at Boulder Two NASA and one European spacecraft have gathered new informationabout the basic properties of a wayward comet that buzzed by MarsOct. 19, directly detecting its effects on the Martian atmosphere. Debrisfrom the comet, known officially as Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring,caused an intense meteor shower and added a new layer of ions, or  charged particles, to the ionosphere. Share This  Mars spacecraft, including MAVEN, reveal comet flyby effects on Martian atmosphere Save/Print :                  Share : Breaking News: Comet Flyby Effects On Martian Atmosphere   Email to a friend   Facebook   Twitter    LinkedIn   Google+   Print this page  Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins Mobile :   iPhone    Android    Web Follow :   Facebook    Twitter     Google+ Subscribe :   RSS Feeds    Email Newsletters  HEALTHPHYSICAL/TECHENVIRONMENTSearch Enter keyword or phrase ... QUIRKYSOCIETY/EDUCATION 7 Hidden Dementia Signs Your Body Will Send 7 Signals That Dementia Is Coming…  pdfcrowd.comopen in browserPRO version Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API Credit: NASA [Click to enlarge image] T Related Articles This is an illustration of Maven spacecraft at Mars. wo NASA and one European spacecraft, including NASA's MAVENmission led by the University of Colorado Boulder, have gathered newinformation about the basic properties of a wayward comet that buzzedby Mars Oct. 19, directly detecting its effects on the Martian atmosphere. Data from observations carried out by MAVEN, NASA'sMars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) and the EuropeanSpace Agency's Mars Express spacecraft revealed thatdebris from the comet, known officially as CometC/2013 A1 Siding Spring, caused an intense meteor shower and added a new layer of ions, or chargedparticles, to the ionosphere. The ionosphere is anelectrically charged region in the atmosphere thatreaches from about 75 miles (120 kilometers) to severalhundred miles above the Martian surface.Using the observations, scientists were able to make adirect connection between the input of debris from themeteor shower to the subsequent formation of thetransient layer of ions -- the first time such an event has been observed on any planet,including Earth, said the MAVEN research team.The comet traveled from the most distant region of our solar system called the Oort Related Topics Space & Time Related Stories NASA's Mars Odyssey Orbiter Watches Comet Fly Near  Oct. 20, 2014 — The longest-livedrobot ever sent to Mars camethrough its latest challenge in good health, reportinghome on schedule after sheltering behind Mars frompossible comet ...    full story  NASA's MAVEN StudiesPassing Comet and Its Effects Oct. 20, 2014 — NASA's newestorbiter at Mars, MAVEN, tookprecautions to avoid harm from a dust-spewingcomet that flew near Mars Oct. 19 and is studyingthe flyby's effects on the Red Planet's ...    full story  Making Measurements Whena Comet Passes Close to Mars Oct. 16, 2014 — On Sunday 19October at 20:29 CET, a comet willpass close to the planet Mars. At the same timethe Swedish instrument ASPERA-3 is on board theEuropean satellite Mars Express orbiting Mars andready ...    full story  NASA Prepares Its ScienceFleet for Oct. 19 Mars CometEncounter  Oct. 13, 2014 — NASA's extensivefleet of science assets, particularly those orbitingand roving Mars, have front row seats to image andstudy a once-in-a-lifetime comet flyby on Sunday,Oct. 19. Comet C/2013 ...    full story  Hubble Sees Mars-BoundComet Sprout Multiple Jets Mar. 27, 2014 — A new image of acomet at 353 million miles from 'Comet Hale-Bopp  Comet Shoemaker-Levy9  Comet  Ionosphere  Mars Exploration Rover   Phoenix (spacecraft)  Mars   Asteroids, Comets andMeteors   Astronomy  Space Missions  Solar System  Space Exploration   pdfcrowd.comopen in browserPRO version Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API Cloud and made a close approach at 2:27 p.m. EDT within about 87,000 miles(139,500 kilometers) of the Red Planet. That is less than half the distance betweenEarth and our moon and less than one-tenth the distance of any known comet flyby of Earth. MAVEN is well suited for studying the effects of the dust from the comet in theMartian atmosphere, because it makes measurements at the altitudes where the dustwas expected to have an effect, said CU-Boulder Professor Bruce Jakosky of theLaboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, the principal investigator on the $671million Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission. We also shouldbe able to see if there are long-term effects from the comet dust in that same region of the atmosphere. Dust from the comet was vaporized high in the Martian atmosphere, producing whatwas likely an impressive meteor shower. The debris resulted in significant buttemporary changes to the planet's upper atmosphere and possible longer-termchanges. A host of Earth-based and orbiting telescopes also observed the uniquecelestial event.The MAVEN spacecraft, recently arrived at Mars, detected the comet encounter in twoways. The remote-sensing Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph (IUVS) designed and builtat CU-Boulder observed intense ultraviolet emissions from magnesium and iron ionshigh in the atmosphere in the aftermath of the meteor shower. Not even the mostintense meteor storms on Earth have produced as strong a response as this one: Theemission dominated Mars' ultraviolet spectrum for several hours after the encounter and then dissipated over the next two days, according to the MAVEN science team.MAVEN also was able to directly sample and help scientists determine thecomposition of some of the vaporized comet dust in Mars' atmosphere. Analysis of these samples by the spacecraft's Neutral Gas and Ion Mass Spectrometer designedand developed at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland,detected eight different types of metal ions, including sodium, magnesium and iron.These are the first direct measurements of the composition of dust from an Oort Cloudcomet. The Oort Cloud, well beyond the outermost planets that surround our sun, is aspherical region of icy objects believed to be material left over from the formation of thesolar system. They call this comet encounter a once-in-a-lifetime event, but it's more like once-in-a-million years, said CU-Boulder Associate Professor Nick Schneider, a LASP researchassociate and lead IUVS scientist for the mission. MAVEN got there just in time, andwe were ready. The numbers suggest a Martian would have seen many thousands of shooting stars per hour -- possibly enough to be called a meteor storm -- so it musthave been a spectacular event that night on Mars. Elsewhere above Mars, a joint U.S. and Italian instrument on Mars Express observed ahuge increase in the density of electrons in the Martian ionosphere following thecomet's close approach. This historic event allowed us to observe the details of this fast moving Oort Cloud Strange & Offbeat Stories ar sows wo es o us comng o e comesnucleus in opposite ...    full story    Space & TimeMatter & Energy more related stories  Mystery Sea of Stars? 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Check Out Today'sHeadlines. comet in a way never before possible using our existing Mars missions, said JimGreen, director of NASA's Planetary Science Division at the agency's headquarters inWashington. Observing the effects on Mars of the comet's dust slamming into theupper atmosphere makes me very happy that we decided to put our spacecraft on theother side of Mars at the peak of the dust tail passage and out of harms way. Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by University of Colorado atBoulder  . Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. 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