This story is at http://phys.org/print354214493.html … we have a computer simulation of the interaction of the solar wind with ions (electrically charged particles) in the atmosphere of Mars. The most energetic ions occur at the poles. The lines represent the paths of individed ions and the colours the intensity of their energy
The data comes from NASAs MAVEN mission and shows quite clearly particles escaping at the poles and a layer of particles high in the atmosphere that light up aurora after being struck by a solar storm. These are early results.
It is assumed that flares and CMEs strip away ions from Mars upper atmosphere via electrical and magetic forces generated by a variety of mechanisms (?) that cause the atmosphere to thin over time. At this point we might consider that what they think they are witnessing is connected to the consensus theory regarding Mars atmosphere – it is being stripped away (ie the atmosphere of Mars is much thinner than that of the earth and a whole lot thinner than that of Venus). It may well be how it happened – but we don't know. Is it confirmation bias? Surely the same thing is happening to the Earth – although the magnetosphere plays a role. This might be a good subject to post up on the forum. Any one willing to do that?