HST Mars

Geological evidence gathered by rovers and spacecraft at Mars have found that it hosted a warm and wet climate with liquid water running on its surface early in its evolution history. So what happened to all the water at Mars? How much water does it have today and how much has it lost over time? These are some of the questions that our research group at Boston University is trying to answer today. The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) has been instrumental in studying the escape of water from Mars. We have used the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) Solar Blind Channel (SBC) to image Mars in a number of observing campaigns to study the escape of hydrogen, which is related to the escape of water from Mars. We have also occasionally used the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) to observe and study the different emissions like the hydrogen Lyman-alpha emission at 1216 Å, the deuterium emission at 1215.3 Å, the oxygen 1304 Å triplet and the 1356 Å forbidden doublet line emitted by the Martian atmosphere. Our group has been involved with a lot of successful HST observing campaigns of Mars. The data from these observing campaigns numbered GO- 11170, 12538, 13632, 13794, 13795, and 14752 can be downloaded here.