Night Glow

28 Aug 2020

At https://spaceweather.com (26th August 2020) ... earth has entered a stream of high speed solar wind, not from a sun spot as the face of the sun is blank at the moment, but from a hole in the sun's atmosphere. Minor geomgnetic storm was expected - and this duly occurred.

NASAs MAVEN spacecraft has discovered a fascinating aspect of Mars. There is a huge spiral of ultraviolet light enveloping the south polar region ...

   ... we think we know he origin of the light but its shape is a mystery. The light is actually night glow. It happens on the earth - where it is called air glow. During the day UV radiates from the sun and breaks apart compounds in the upper atmosphere. At night the atoms reassemble themselves - glowing as they put themselves back together. On earth, airglow resembles auroral lights. People are able to see it. Albeit, not easily. On Mars, the emission is in UV and is invisible to the human eye. MAVEN, however, has picked it up. It has a spiral pattern. However, the spiral, situated in the polar zone but is just one aspect as the whole of Mars is surrounded by polarity patterns of night glow. High above the north pole is a luminous block that pulses twice a day. Around the equator there are blobs, evenly spread, pulsing three times a day. Only the south pole has a spiral - and it pulses once a day.