NASA missions detect massive aurora and radiation spikes on Mars

Ealier this month, NASA probes in orbit and on the Martian surface detected an incredibly bright global aurora as a powerful solar storm struck Mars. The aurora was accompanied by a powerful dose of radiation that would have posed a significant danger to humans exploring the Red Planet.

Between September 12 and 13, NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft observed the Martian atmosphere as a magnificent ultraviolet aurora 25 times brighter than any seen by the probe since entering Mars’ orbit in 2014 illuminated the planet.

The September 11 solar storm, known as a coronal mass ejection (CME), that prompted the aurora was so powerful that it was detected on Earth, despite the fact that our planet was on the opposite side of the Sun during the event.

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