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Real photo of Mars | Auroras of Mars |

Aurora on Mars

 A probe sent by the United Arab Emirates to study the Martian atmosphere has caught on camera a highly elusive phenomenon, SPACE.com reports: a nocturnal aurora on Mars.

Before the Hope orbiter's formal science mission began, one of its scientific instruments captured aurorae, a notoriously fleeting phenomenon that has proved very difficult to study.

Photo of mars (aurora)

Images released Wednesday show auroras standing out in the shape of bright structures against the dark Martian night sky.

It's a beautiful chance encounter — the discovery wasn't even part of the main science observations planned for the mission — that could set up the Emirates Mars mission for many more exciting discoveries to come later this year.

"It's not easy to catch them, and so it was exciting and unexpected to see them basically with [the Emirates Mars mission]," said Justin Deghan, a planetary scientist at the University of Colorado and the mission's deputy science chief. , Stated by SPACE.com.

"It's definitely something that was on our radar, so to speak, but looking at our first set of data for the night and saying, 'Hey, wait a second - right? - it can't be - That's it!' — it was so much fun," said Deighan.

On Earth, auroras are associated with the planet's magnetic field. When charged particles explode into the atmosphere, it changes their trajectory, causing the particles in the atmosphere to ionize and emit light of different colors as they interact with each other.

On Mars, however, these auroras are not confined to the north and south poles, as well as are visible on the rest of the planet.

The magnetic atmosphere of the Red Planet is not aligned like a giant bar magnet like on Earth.

Instead, as Deighan explained to The New York Times, it's like "you took a bag of magnets and threw them into the planet's crust."

"And they're all pointing in different ways," he said. "And they have different strengths."

These scattered magnetic fields cause particles of the solar wind to shoot off in different directions, interacting with atoms and molecules in the planet's upper atmosphere, which triggers the glow.

The probe's ultraviolet spectrometer was originally intended to study the vast halo of hydrogen and oxygen around the Red Planet, which eventually dissipates into open space.

"We anticipated that the instrument would have the capability to do this," Hesa ​​Al Matrushi, the mission's science chief, told SPACE.com. "It wasn't designed to do that. But because we have a mission that's targeting global coverage and we're looking at Mars from different sides and very often in the atmosphere, that allows us to have such measurements of discrete auroras." Helped to get through, which is very exciting."

The team is hoping that the discovery "might allow opening new doors to the study of the Martian atmosphere and how it interacts with solar activity," Matrushi told the Times.






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