A team of scientists, led by the New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Center for Space Science, created a new map of Mars combining more than 3,000 observations of the planet into one single image.
The research scientist Dimitra Atri and his team collected data for a Martian year, or two Earth years, and produced the map of Mars using the Emirates eXploration Imager (EXI). The EXI is an imaging system on the Emirates Mars Mission (EMM), generally known as Hope Probe, which is currently orbiting Mars.
The purpose of the new map
The map shows regions and features of Mars highly detailed such as polar ice caps, mountains, volcanoes, ancient rivers, lakes, and impact craters. This high level of resolution is essential for future scientific research on Mars.
For this reason, all the information obtained from the probe will be free to access to hundreds of universities and research institutes over the planet. The map will also be available in both English and Arabic as part of the more advanced Atlas of Mars.
“The complete Mars Map brings the UAE and the Arab world another step closer to achieving Emirates Mars Mission’s (EMM) ambitious goal to provide a complete global picture of the Martian climate”–Dimitra Atri researcher scientist who leads the Mars Research Group at NYUAD Center for Space Science
The mission aims to study the Martian climate and the atmospheric layers. Moreover, the uncrewed space mission Mars Hope al-Amal will try to understand why there aren’t conditions for liquid water on the red planet.
Emirates Mars Mission (EMM)
After being postponed several times due to adverse weather conditions, EMM lifted off on July 19, 2020, on board a Japanese H-IIA launcher from the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan. After traveling for 200 days it reached the orbit of Mars on February 9, 2021.
The departure date was chosen because at that moment Earth and Mars were at the minimum distance from each other. This situation repeats itself every two years, so if the 2020 launch window had been missed, the launch would have been delayed to 2022.