Mars Methane Spectroscopy

  • Released Thursday, January 15th, 2009
  • Updated Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023 at 1:54PM
  • ID: 10360

Conceptual animation demonstrating the process of spectroscopy. The first animation demonstrates the general concept of visible-light spectroscopy by which white light is separated into its component wavelengths (colors) using a prism. The second animation demonstrates how this idea is applied to the discovery of methane in Mars' atmosphere. Because it absorbs specific wavelengths of electromagnetic energy, methane has a 'fingerprint' that can be seen as missing lines on the resulting spectograph.

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Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center


This visualization can be found in the following series: