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Auroras on Mars striking beauty - VIDEO PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 01 July 2015 09:00

According to a new study, the astronauts, who in the future will come to Mars, will enjoy the spectacle of dazzling auroras in the southern hemisphere of the planet. The fact that auroras are also characteristic of the Red Planet, scientists knew previously. However, unlike the results of the new study is that, according to him aurorae on the Red Planet can be seen with the naked eye.

"After intense solar flares astronaut, being on the surface of the Red Planet, it can be seen in the Martian sky, the phenomenon with the naked eye," - says Simon Vedlund Kirill (Cyril Simon Wedlund), co-author of a new study from the University of Aalto in Finland.

auroras on Earth, known as the northern or southern polar lights, occur when the magnetosphere interacts with the charged particles of the solar wind. These particles excite the atoms and molecules of gases entering into the atmosphere, resulting in light emission. The most striking Earth are excited oxygen emission line (shades of green and red) and nitrogen (shades of blue and purple) in the visible range.

Despite the fact that Mars no longer has a magnetic field, which would cover the entire planet, for it is still characterized by individual small magnetic fields. In the first place they occur over the southern hemisphere.

As for the Earth, the planet auroras are observed mainly in the auroral ovals, the areas that surround the Earth's magnetic poles, in the high latitudes of the northern and southern hemispheres. On Mars, in view of the fact that the magnetic field has a random nature, the place of origin of auroras may also vary.

Previous data from the Mars Express spacecraft of the European Space Agency and NASA probe Maven Agency confirmed that radiance peculiar and Mars. However, using them, the researchers were unable to determine whether these auroras visible to astronauts.

In the new study, the researchers used a sphere Planeterella, in which the magnetic field and charged particles produce an imitation of auroras. Today, throughout the world there are 17 operating areas; for the latter study it used the one that is located in France.

The experiment was conducted with the use of carbon dioxide, which is dominant in the composition of the thin Martian atmosphere. Electric discharge was established in the area corresponding to the upper layer of the atmosphere of the planet. As a result, scientists were able to observe the blue glow.

According to the researchers, the new results that have been published in the journal Planetary and Space Science, will help in determining the physical characteristics of the Martian atmosphere, as well as the study of its evolution.


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