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Here's How 'Northern Lights' Would Look On Mars

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Published on May 30, 2015

An international team of scientists have predicted that if a human were to stand on the surface of the red planet, they would be able to see the light phenomenon in the southern night sky.

If you could stand on the surface of Mars and look up at the skies, what would you see?  An international team of scientists predicts an array of blue aurorae bright enough to be seen with the naked eye. The phenomenon is similar to Earth's northern lights. According to NASA, "Aurorae occur when charged solar particles reach local magnetic field lines, where they enter the planetary atmosphere and excite its atoms and molecules. As they deactivate, the particles produce light emission." Study results show the strongest color is deep blue, but green and red may also be observed. NASA explains that until approximately 3.5 billion years ago, Mars hosted a ‘global magnetic field’.  Now only local spots of increased magnetic fields remain. The Martian aurorae are believed to occur in the southern hemisphere where these anomalies are primarily located. NASA anticipates sending astronauts to the red planet in the 2030s and hopefully they will witness if the blue aurorae is indeed visible from the surface.

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