For the first time in 4 decades, researchers at National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have discovered atomic oxygen in Mars atmosphere. Researchers from NASA discovered atomic oxygen enclosing Mars using the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA).
NASA Scientists Discovered Oxygen on Mars Atmosphere
The oxygen atoms were discovered in the Martian upper atmosphere which is known as mesosphere. This discovery is game changing, as it is success for astronomers and will provide an insight into how to spot gases and likely will be a new abode for the humans. SOFIA confirmed that have discovered small amount of atomic oxygen on Mars.
“Atomic oxygen in the Martian atmosphere is notoriously difficult to measure,” SOFIA project scientist Pamela Marcum said in a statement. “To observe the far-infrared wavelengths needed to detect atomic oxygen, researchers must be above the majority of Earth’s atmosphere and use highly sensitive instruments, in this case a spectrometer. SOFIA provides both capabilities.”
The measurements of Mars were measured by SOFIA airplane while flying at an altitude between 37,000 and 45,000 feet.
Oxygen is formed when two atoms join each other to form O2. However, Atomic oxygen is just a single oxygen atom. When atomic oxygen was last discovered in the atmosphere of the mars due to the Viking and Mariner missions.
“Atomic oxygen affects how other gases escape Mars and therefore has a significant impact on the planet’s atmosphere,” NASA said.