Tuesday, 2 June 2015
Mars has Beautiful Auroras Visible with the Naked Eye, NASA Confirms
The stunning light show is similar to the Northern Lights, but a different colour
The Northern Lights are one of Earth’s most spectacular phenomena - with eerie green and red streaks colouring the sky.
It turns out that Mars has a similar light show - visible to the naked eye of anyone on the surface of the Red Planet - but it glows a bright blue.
That’s according to research by planetary scientist Cyril Simon Wedlund from Aalto University.
He and his team carried out an experiment in the lab to simulate the conditions on Mars.
The Planeterella sphere simulates a magnetized planet with an atmosphere of CO2 and bombarded by the solar wind. Blue aurorae develop according to its magnetic field configuration. (D. Bernard/IPAG — CNRS)
The experiment replicated the Martian atmosphere - made up mostly of carbon dioxide - using a 'Planeterrella', a piece of kit that can recreate aurora in the laboratory.
In the case of the Mars experiment, a blue glow formed around the magnetic structures.
They believe that blue is the most prominent color, though red and green may also make an appearance, and that the lights -- like ones on Earth -- appear several times in a solar cycle, after intense solar activity.
If an astronaut looked to the southern sky from the surface of Mars during one of these flare-ups, the researchers say, he or she would see a sky glowing with blue. Until then, we'll just have to keep imagining them.
The Auroras are visible in many other planets like Jupiter, Saturn. below are the some photographs of auroras taken by various probes.
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Source : Washington post, Mirror