Social Media Sidebar


Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless.


Thomas Edison

Mysterious Heavy Ion Beams Above Mars Explained

Posted in Science on 30th May, 2016 03:28 PM by AlexMuller

Above the surface of Mars’s sunlit side, protons of the solar wind begin to smash into the upper reaches of Mars’s atmosphere. NASA’s MAVEN  spacecraft, which arrived at the Red Planet in 2014, has detected mysterious beams of oxygen ions flowing away from the planet, across the solar wind or even directly against it.


Scientists have hotly debated how these counterstreaming beams form. Masunaga et al. analyzed data from the MAVEN spacecraft. They found four examples of these fast beams of oxygen ions cutting through the solar wind upstream of Mars. By studying the velocity distributions of the ions, the team determined that they were carrying too much speed to have originated directly from Mars itself. Instead, oxygen atoms in the extended exosphere are ionized before they reach Mars, streak in with the solar wind, and are then repelled back outward at speed.

However, unlike suggestions from previous studies of solar wind protons, the authors found that it isn’t the bow shock, the shock wave that forms as the solar wind washes around the planet, like the waves off a ship’s bow, that reflects these oxygen ions back into space; instead, it’s the magnetic and electric fields that surround Mars. The team’s analysis shows that the oxygen ions penetrate the bow shock, but as they sink toward the surface of the planet, the piled-up magnetic and electric fields cause them to turn 180° and fling them back out into the solar wind, possibly even escaping Mars.
To follow up, the team plans to investigate how the ion streams react to variations in the solar wind, which is responsible for inducing those magnetic and electric fields. In addition, unlike Earth, Mars does not have an intrinsic magnetic field, but the rocks in its crust are strongly magnetized in a disorganized fashion. The team also plans to investigate how these locally intensified magnetic fields affect these ion beams.

Tags: spaceMarsNASAMAVENplanetphysicsastronomy

Read original article » Back to category


Author: Guest
Posted: 2016-05-31
It would be interesting to find out out more about electric and magnetic fields around mars and compare with other plants Reply


Recent headlines

  • Posted in Science on 2018-06-20 02:26:18
    Pushing the limit: could cyanobacteria terraform Mars? more
    Posted in Medicine on 2018-06-20 02:23:08
    Hospital Begins Testing VR As A Pain Relief more
    Posted in Medicine on 2018-06-18 20:18:46
    Insight into role gut bacteria play in more
    Posted in Science on 2018-06-18 20:12:58
    Blood-based biomarker may predict whether you’ll more
    Posted in Science on 2018-06-17 23:45:17
    SpinLaunch raises $40M from Airbus, Google and others more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs, more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    In five years quantum computing will be more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Google partners with Johnson and Johnson to make lower more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Electron holography microscope with spatial resolution down more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Lower cost advanced Nuclear power could dominate future US more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Why Hasn’t AI Mastered Language Translation? more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Remember me

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Verify password:
Remember me