Demo Reel
On October 19, Comet Siding Spring will pass within 88,000 miles of Mars - just one third of the distance from the Earth to the Moon! Traveling at 33 miles per second and weighing as much as a small mountain, the comet hails from the outer fringes of our solar system, originating in a region of icy debris known as the Oort cloud.

Comets from the Oort cloud are both ancient and rare. Since this is Comet Siding Spring's first trip through the inner solar system, scientists are excited to learn more about its composition and the effects of its gas and dust on the Mars upper atmosphere. NASA will be watching closely before, during, and after the flyby with its entire fleet of Mars orbiters and rovers, along with the Hubble Space Telescope and dozens of instruments on Earth. The encounter is certain to teach us more about Oort cloud comets, the Martian atmosphere, and the solar system's earliest ingredients. Observing Comet Siding Spring at Mars
This animation depects MAVENs arrival at Mars. Showing it's orbital insertion burns and deployments of MAVEN's LPW, SWEA and APP instruments. MAVEN Mars Orbital Insertion (MOI)
This animation follows the MAVEN spacecraft through launch on an Atlas V rocket from KSC through it's solar panel deployments and ending with MAVEN begining it's journey to MARS. MAVEN Launch and Deployment Animations
Billions of years ago when the Red Planet was young, it appears to have had a thick atmosphere that was warm enough to support oceans of liquid water - a critical ingredient for life. The animation shows how the surface of Mars might have appeared during this ancient clement period, beginning with a flyover of a Martian lake. The artist's concept is based on evidence that Mars was once very different. Rapidly moving clouds suggest the passage of time, and the shift from a warm and wet to a cold and dry climate is shown as the animation progresses. The lakes dry up, while the atmosphere gradually transitions from Earthlike blue skies to the dusty pink and tan hues seen on Mars today. Mars Transition
A new NASA-sponsored website, DiskDetective.org, lets the public discover embryonic planetary systems hidden among data from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission. The site is led and funded by NASA and developed by the Zooniverse, a collaboration of scientists, software developers and educators who collectively develop and manage the Internet's largest, most popular and most successful citizen science projects. WISE, located in Earth orbit and designed to survey the entire sky in infrared light, completed two scans between 2010 and 2011. It took detailed measurements of more than 745 million objects, representing the most comprehensive survey of the sky at mid-infrared wavelengths currently available. Astronomers have used computers to search this haystack of data for planet-forming environments and narrowed the field to about a half-million sources that shine brightly in the infrared, indicating they may be Disk Detective: Search for Planetary Habitats