boxy spacecraft against red cratered surface

Mars orbiter notches 1st sighting of simultaneous auroras with different causes

NASA’s MAVEN mission to Mars captured a rare event when it spotted two different types of aurora in the sky over the Red Planet at the same time as Mars was being buffeted by a tumultuous solar storm.

On Aug. 27, the sun erupted. A series of solar flares raced through the solar system, followed by a coronal mass ejection (CME) — an enormous cloud of plasma ripped from the solar corona by the energy of the flares. Over the course of the next few days, Earth and Mars experienced a titanic solar storm as charged particles struck them. Earth has a magnetic field that deflects these particles, but Mars does not.

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