Newly found Martian auroras defy easy explanation

Scientists with the United Arab Emirates’ Mars mission have spotted a ‘worm-like’ aurora stretching halfway across the Red Planet.

The discovery of “sinuous discrete” auroras, or shining lights high in the atmosphere arising from solar activity interacting with magnetic fields, came from observations from the Hope orbiter, which has been at work since February 2021. Mars has only a patchy magnetic field, making auroras tough to track down. Hope has already assisted with better observations of local, nighttime aurora varieties (diffuse aurora and discrete aurora) that eluded other missions.

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