spaceSpace and PhysicsspaceAstronomy

Emirates’ Hope Mission Spots Dust, Clouds, And A Blob Of Oxygen In The Martian Atmosphere


Dr. Alfredo Carpineti

Senior Staff Writer & Space Correspondent

clockJul 20 2021, 10:35 UTC

Mars. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-CalTech

The Emirates Mars Mission, also known as Hope (Al-Amal) has been quite busy studying the atmosphere of the Red Planet.  It has recently captured some of the peculiar aurorae of Mars as well as the emission of hydrogen atoms that surrounds the planet.

A few more images have now been released looking at the general atmosphere of the planet, its temperature, and even how oxygen moves across Mars. The release, shared on the mission Twitter feed, shows the versatility of its instruments.


The Emirates Exploration Imager, for example, has captured the planet in visible light but also in ultraviolet light. The latter shows the dust on its surface for example, and from the other, we get the water vapor in the planet’s tenuous clouds.


On the opposite side of the visible spectrum, the Emirates Mars Infrared Spectrometer (EMIRS) can track the heat emitted by the atmosphere, allowing it to work out its temperature as it gets progressively warmer during the morning. Although, even its highest it’s way below what we get on the surface of Earth.


EMIRS has a buddy in the ultraviolet range. The Emirates Ultraviolet Spectrometer (EMUS) looks at the emission of atoms in the UV from the Martian atmosphere. It was responsible for the detection of the aurorae, and it recently spotted the emission of a large patch of oxygen moving into view from the night side to the dayside.


With Hope, the United Arab Emirates became the fifth country to place a spacecraft in orbit around Mars, and only the second one (after India) to do so in their first try.

 This Week in IFLScience

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spaceSpace and PhysicsspaceAstronomy
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