An artist's depiction of the discrete aurora on Mars. (Image credit: Emirates Mars Mission)

An artist's depiction of the discrete aurora on Mars. (Image credit: Emirates Mars Mission)

UAE’s probe finds Auroras on the skies of the Red Planet

A probe sent by the United Arab Emirates to study the Martian atmosphere has caught and brought us mesmerizing images of the beautiful natural light show i.e Auroras. The views on the red planet are as beautiful as, if not more, those on Earth.

Before the formal start of the Hope orbiter’s science mission, an instrument installed on the probe caught the aurora, which is known to be a phenomenon that is very difficult to study. The images were a delight, as they were not part of the planned observations on the mission.

Images released recently show the auroras standing out in the shape of bright structures set against the dark Martian night sky.

EMUS data showing the discrete aurora on Mars. The bright crescent marks the daylit side of the planet; the discrete aurora is the bright crackles seen on the nightside of Mars. (Image credit: Emirates Mars Mission)

In a statement given to reports: a, Justin Deighan, a planetary scientist at the University of Colorado and deputy science lead of the mission, said, “They’re not easy to catch, and so that’s why seeing them basically right away with [Emirates Mars Mission] was kind of exciting and unexpected.” “It’s definitely something that was on our radar, so to speak, but just looking at our first set of nighttime data and saying, ‘Hey, wait a second — is that? — it can’t be — it is!’ — that was a lot of fun.” 

northern lights over snow-capped mountian
Aurora, the natural light display in the Earth’s sky, is predominantly seen in high-latitude regions.

The Ultraviolet Spectrometer installed on the probe was originally meant to study the massive halo of hydrogen and oxygen that surrounds the Red Planet, which eventually dissipates into open space.

“We did anticipate that the instrument would have the potential to do this,” Hessa Al Matroushi, the mission’s science lead, said in a statement. “It wasn’t designed to do it. But because we do have a mission that is targeting global coverage and we’re looking at Mars from different sides and very frequently within the atmosphere, that enabled us to have such a measurement of discrete auroras, which is very exciting.”


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