View Full Version : Discussion: First Aurora Seen on Mars

2005-Jun-09, 05:22 PM
SUMMARY: The European Space Agency's Mars Express spacecraft has discovered an aurora in the Martian atmosphere. In addition to Earth, auroras have been discovered on Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, but not Mars... until now. Mars has no intrinsic planetary magnetic field, so the aurora formed above a pocket of rock that was still magnetic. This aurora was only 30 km (19 miles) long, and very faint. An astronaut on Mars would probably see the aurora as very faint and blue, if at all.

View full article (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/first_aurora_mars.html)

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2005-Jun-09, 08:48 PM
Another great example of the good science being done by the space probe (plus the scientists analysing the data, back here on Earth).

Among solar system bodies with half-way decent atmospheres, that only leaves Titan (and possibly Pluto) on which aurorae have yet to be detected! I wonder whether Triton, Charon and (maybe) Io have enough of an atmosphere+magentic field that there could be aurorae above their surfaces too?

2005-Jun-11, 04:47 PM
Great picture. I was looking at the configaration of the varous craters. There is strange looking hill just to the right of the very large crater on the left. This feature has the shadow on the opposite than the shadows in the craters. It looks out of place.