Print 8 comment(s) - last by slyczar.. on Feb 25 at 4:14 PM

Just like our planet, it has been confirmed that Mars is also affected by solar flares

Although astronomers believed for several years that the upper atmospheres of Mars were affected by solar flares, it wasn't until recently that there was solid evidence of this claim.  A solar flare is a short outburst of energy from small sections of the sun's surface.   On April 15, 2001, the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) first provided scientists with measurements of changes in a layer of the Red Plane's atmosphere after it experienced a solar flare.   

The finding confirms that solar flare radiation affects the ionospheres of Earth and Mars in similar ways, despite the different chemical compositions of the planets' atmospheres. Earth's ionosphere is populated largely by oxygen and nitrogen, while the Martian ionosphere contains mostly carbon dioxide.

This is an important discovery because manned missions to Mars may be in the future, which would require scientists to have a basic understanding of the environment that surrounds Mars.

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RE: Late?
By TheLiberalTruth on 2/24/2006 6:01:17 PM , Rating: 3
I agree. I wouldn't exactly call it "news" if it's almost 5 years old.

RE: Late?
By slyczar on 2/25/2006 4:14:04 PM , Rating: 2
Haven't you guys been reading the previous posts...? There's a delay in communications from Mars to Earth :P

But seriously...even though they got the info back in 2001...perhaps it took them a while to analyze their data...? And they're now confident of their findings and have now made it news?

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