VIDEO – NASA reveals images of the enormous solar storm that hit Mars shortly after Earth

VIDEO – NASA reveals images of the enormous solar storm that hit Mars shortly after Earth
VIDEO – NASA reveals images of the enormous solar storm that hit Mars shortly after Earth

In May, a class X solar storm, among the most powerful, hit Earth but also Mars, which has no atmosphere to mitigate its effects.

“Bright purple” northern lights illuminated the night side of Mars between May 14 and 20. NASA released images of the particularly violent impact of this solar storm which struck Mars a few days after the very powerful one which caused the northern lights at unexpected latitudes on Earth.

The intense activity of the Sun thus triggered a class X12 solar storm, among the most powerful of its kind, on the night side of Mars. Earth was unaffected by this mega solar storm that engulfed the red planet with auroras and an influx of charged particles and radiation, according to NASA.

A particularly strong activity for the Sun which should reach, during the year 2024, the peak of its 11-year cycle called the solar maximum.

But after causing a huge cluster of Earth-facing sunspots, the solar flares turned toward Mars.

Exceptional radiation

The impact of this mega solar storm was captured by orbiters circling the Red Planet but also by rovers currently roaming the surface of Mars. These images and data will make it possible to understand the level of radiation to which the first astronauts to travel to Mars will be subjected in the more or less distant future.

The May 20 solar storm was rated at an These rays represented the equivalent of 30 lung x-rays consecutively. A non-lethal level but which can be very harmful if received regularly. Never has a rover been subjected to such radiation in 12 years, according to the scientific journal Futura Science.

Note that the power of these rays was such that the stellar camera on board the Mars Odyssey orbiter suddenly stopped for more than an hour. Odyssey has never been bombarded with waves this much since the solar maximum of 2003, when an X45 flare fried the orbiter’s radiation detector.

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