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Solar Storm Triggers Whole-Planet Aurora at Mars

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Owlscrying
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Unread post Sun Oct 01, 2017 10:52 am

An unexpectedly strong blast from the Sun hit Mars this month, observed by NASA missions in orbit and on the surface.

"NASA's distributed set of science missions is in the right place to detect activity on the Sun and examine the effects of such solar events at Mars as never possible before," said MAVEN Program Scientist Elsayed Talaat, program scientist at NASA Headquarters, Washington, for NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, or MAVEN, mission.

The solar event on Sept. 11, 2017 sparked a global aurora at Mars more than 25 times brighter than any previously seen by the MAVEN orbiter, which has been studying the Martian atmosphere's interaction with the solar wind since 2014.

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Owlscrying
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Unread post Sun Oct 01, 2017 10:54 am

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Credits: NASA/Univ. of Colorado

These images from the Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph on NASA's MAVEN orbiter show the appearance of a bright aurora on Mars during a solar storm in September 2017. The purple-white colors shows the intensity of ultraviolet light on Mars' night side before (left) and during (right) the event.

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Owlscrying
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Unread post Sun Oct 01, 2017 10:55 am



Scientists have documented a global aurora on Mars, believed to have been sparked by a large solar storm.

 
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