This artist's depiction shows the close encounter between comet Siding Sprng and Mars in 2014. The comet's powerful magnetic field temporarily merged with, and overwhelmed, the planet's weak magnetic field.
Image Relayed by MAVEN Mars Orbiter from Curiosity Mars Rover
The first demonstration of NASA's MAVEN Mars orbiter's capability to relay data from a Mars surface mission, on Nov. 6, 2014, included this image, taken Oct. 23, 2014, by Curiosity's Navigation Camera, showing part of 'Pahrump Hills' outcrop.
Ions of Eight Metals from Comet Dust Detected in Mars Atmosphere
These eight graphs present data from the Neutral Gas and Ion Mass Spectrometer on NASA's MAVEN orbiter identifying ions of different metals added to the Martian atmosphere shortly after comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring sped close to Mars.
Comet Meteor Shower Put Magnesium and Iron into Martian Atmosphere
The places where the red line on this graph extends higher than the blue line show detection of metals added to the Martian atmosphere from dust particles released by a passing comet on Oct. 19, 2014. The graphed data are from NASA's MAVEN spacecraft.
Artist's Concept of MAVEN's Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph at Work
This artist's concept depicts the Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph (IUVS) on NASA's MAVEN spacecraft scanning the upper atmosphere of Mars. IUVS uses limb scans to map the chemical makeup and vertical structure across Mars' upper atmosphere.
This artist's concept depicts NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft near Mars. MAVEN is in development for launch in 2013 and will be the first mission devoted to understanding the Martian upper atmosphere.