Atomic Oxygen was detected in the upper layers of the Martian atmosphere known as Mesosphere.
Atomic oxygen affects how other gases escape Mars .It therefore has a significant impact on the planet’s atmosphere.
The research was published in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics.
• These more recent observations were possible due to SOFIA’s airborne location, flying between 37000-45000 feet, above most of the infrared-blocking moisture in Earth’s atmosphere.
• The last measurement of the atomic oxygen in Martian atmosphere was diagnosed by Viking and Mariner missions of the 1970s.
• Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA)
• SOFIA is a Boeing 747SP jetliner modified to carry a 100-inch diameter telescope.
• It is a joint project of NASA and the German Aerospace Center.
• SOFIA program is managed by NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California.
• The aircraft is based at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center's hangar