Look: UAE's Hope Probe reveals first 'full day', seasonal pictures of Mars

On board the spacecraft, the instruments provide new views of the Martian atmosphere at all times through the day, night, and seasons of the Red Planet


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Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

Published: Tue 14 Dec 2021, 6:57 PM

Last updated: Tue 14 Dec 2021, 7:00 PM

The UAE’s Hope Probe presents a complete diurnal picture of Mars’ atmosphere for the first time.

Simultaneously, it has also triggered a rush of new observations, discoveries and insights into Mars’ unique atmosphere, composition, and dynamics.

Emirates Mars Mission Science Lead, Hessa Al Matroushi says, “The success of Hope is already assured from our early results and observations, and we can see a vast number of new potential avenues of exploration opening up as a result of our early data.”

“We are seeing Mars in remarkable detail and are able to characterize the diurnal behaviours of Mars’ atmosphere for the first time ever. The potential we are now seeing from the mission undoubtedly exceeds our expectations”, added Al Matroushi.

Papers and posters are being shared and presented at the AGU21 Fall Meeting in New Orleans, reflecting the unique picture of Mars’ atmosphere being built by EMM’s Hope Probe.

On board the Hope Probe, the instruments provide new views of the Martian atmosphere at all times through the day, night, and seasons of the Red Planet.


Christopher S. Edwards, EMIRS Instrument Lead, avers, “The ability of EMM to observe Mars at all local times on short timescales enables the daily variation of these clouds to be studied. The EMIRS observations show that clouds are thickest and cover the most area early in the morning and late in the evening, with fewer clouds near midday.

"The comparison of clouds observed by EMIRS at thermal-infrared wavelengths to those observed by EXI at visible wavelengths can provide further information about the clouds, such as the size of the water ice aerosols that make up the clouds.”

Hope is set out to measure the global, diurnal, and seasonal response of the Martian atmosphere to solar forcing, understanding the atmospheric – particularly of Hydrogen and Oxygen and the temporal and spatial behaviour of Mars’ exosphere.

With early results showing exciting observations of Mars’ discrete aurora and additional bandwidth and resources available to encompass additional observations, further measurements of auroral phenomena have been brought into the mission’s goals, extending its capabilities beyond Hope’s planned goals.

Michael Wolff, EXI Instrument Lead says, “As on the earth, clouds on Mars are an important part of the water cycle and characterizing how they change from hour to hour, and day-to-day is an important part in understanding both the present and past climates.”

Hope’s ground-breaking observations are available to scientists and enthusiasts globally, uploaded to the EMM Science Data Centre and available free from the emm.ae website.

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