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First Map of Mars Electric Currents

Five years after NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft entered into orbit around Mars, data from the mission has led to the creation of a map of electric current systems in the Martian atmosphere. Unlike Earth, Mars lacks a protective global magnetic field to shield its upper atmosphere from the solar wind. Instead, the solar wind crashes into the upper atmosphere and its magnetic field lines drape around the planet. This creates an induced magnetosphere that tugs on charged particles in the Mars upper atmosphere, generating electric currents. Now, MAVEN’s detailed measurements of the magnetic environment surrounding Mars have revealed the shape of these electric currents for the first time.

Read more: https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/goddard/2020/mars-electric-currents

Music credit: “A Lucid Dream” and “Shimmer Oscillations” by James Joshua Otto, via Universal Production Music

Video credit: NASA/Goddard/MAVEN/CU Boulder/SVS

Dan Gallagher (USRA)

Lead Data Visualizer:
Cindy Starr (GST)

Data Visualizers:
Tom Bridgman (GST)
Greg Shirah (NASA/GSFC)
Horace Mitchell (NASA/GSFC)

John Caldwell (AIMM)

Dan Gallagher (USRA)

Lead Scientist:
Robin Ramstad (University of Colorado Boulder)

David Brain (University of Colorado Boulder)

Science Writer:
William Steigerwald (NASA/GSFC)

Walt Feimer (KBRwyle)
Jonathan North (USRA)
Chris Smith (USRA)
John Blackwell (LPI)

Tom Mason (LASP)
Bruce Jakosky (LASP)

Technical Support:
Aaron E. Lepsch (ADNET)

This video is public domain and along with other supporting visualizations can be downloaded from NASA Goddard's Scientific Visualization Studio at: https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/13625

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