MAVEN captures stunning ‘tie-dye’ views of Mars

NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft orbiting Mars got stunning ‘tie-dye’ views of the Red Planet in two ultraviolet images.

According to NASA, MAVEN took the first image in July 2022 during the southern hemisphere’s summer season, while the second image was taken in January this year after Mars had passed the farthest point in its orbit from the Sun.

“MAVEN has a special instrument that lets us see Mars in ultraviolet wavelengths called the Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph, or IUVS. Viewing the planet with IUVS can give us insight into the atmosphere on Mars and let us see surface features in remarkable ways,” the American space agency said.

In the first image, Mars looks like it has been dyed in soft, muted yellows, greens, and purples, NASA described. “The southern polar ice cap is visible at the bottom in white, shrinking from the relative warmth of summer,” it added.

On the other hand, the planet’s colors in the second image are more vibrant. Its atmospheric ozone appears magenta while clouds and hazes look white and the rest of the region is mostly green.

“We can’t see ultraviolet wavelengths with our eyes, so these images are rendered with the varying brightness levels of three ultraviolet wavelength ranges represented as red, green, and blue,” NASA said.

2nd image (Photo from NASA / Instagram)