The atmosphere of Mars can be strangely pretty depending on what eyes you look with. With ordinary cameras capturing the visible spectrum we have already seen the red planet, with a camera that captures ultraviolet rays things are very different. New observations reveal how the atmosphere gives off periodic and genuinely precious flashes. Atmosphere of Mars emits flashes of ultraviolet light every night in spring and fall.
During Martian springs and autumns, the neighboring planet generates a total of three pulses of ultraviolet light every night (in case we didn’t have enough with the strange cloud of kilometers that is generated daily ). Researchers at the University of Colorado in the United States have analyzed data from NASA’s MAVEN orbiter, which has been analyzing Mars since 2014. Thanks to the ultraviolet spectrograph contained in the MAVEN, it is possible to better observe what the Martian atmosphere is like. An atmosphere much thinner than ours and about 70 kilometers from the surface. New observations reveal how the atmosphere gives off periodic and genuinely precious flashes. Atmosphere of Mars emits flashes of ultraviolet light every night in spring and fall.
The reason for the curious Martian glow
The results of these observations are a curious video in which we see how the atmosphere behaves under ultraviolet light. The researchers were able to detect three pulses of ultraviolet light that are generated every night almost with clockwork precision, also a curious spiral at the pole of Mars.
They indicate that these phenomena occur due to air currents that transport gases between the lower and upper layers of the atmosphere . The chemical reactions that occur due to the change between day and night cause the molecules of carbon dioxide and nitrogen in the atmosphere to divide into their elements. At night these molecules go down to lower layers, where they create nitric oxide, which is the cause of that ultraviolet light that we get to see.
Light pulses occur precisely in spring and autumn due to temperature changes. With the setting of the sun the molecules descend to lower layers and cause that first strong pulse. Later two more pulses are given something more tenuous. It is something that occurs throughout the atmosphere, although it is especially noticeable at a point on the equator of Mars , which is the one we see brightest.
Mars, which we have relatively “to nothing” from us if we take into account the distances of the Universe, is a planet of which we are very unknown . Various probes and rovers have come to it and are what allows us to better investigate it. In recent weeks, three more have been launched by the United Arab Emirates , the United States and China.