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The Spring 2011 issue of The Earth Scientist is focused on modernizing seismology education. Thanks to IRIS, you can download this issue for free as a pdf. Print copies are available in our online store.
This image illustrates Mars Global Surveyor studying the planet.
Click on image for full size
Image from: NASA/JPL

The Martian Ionosphere

The Martian ionosphere is a layer of gas that is very high up above Mars. It extends from about 75 miles up to several hundred miles up above the surface. It is shown by the shaded region circling the planet in this drawing. Temperatures in this region are very hot. This region may have a complicated interaction with the Martian magnetosphere, which is a region of Mars which is next door to the ionosphere.

Measurements by Mars Global Surveyor will help scientists study Mars' ionosphere and compare it with those of Earth and Venus. The ionosphere of Mars was even used to help brake the spacecraft and place it into a circular orbit.


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Our online store includes fun classroom activities for you and your students. Issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist are also full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science!

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA