In late September, two new missions arrived ion orbit around Mars. One was India’s first mission, the Mars Orbiter Mission, while the other was NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft. MAVEN’s goal is not to study the surface of the planet but its atmosphere, with the aim of determining how it is changing and how it may have changed in the past.
One of the leading experts in the Martian atmosphere is Professor Peter Read, based at the University of Oxford. For this month’s edition of Pythagoras’ Trousers, I spoke to Peter about what we know – and what we don’t – about the atmosphere of the red planet.