European Spacecraft Detects Green Glow On Mars

 - Sakshi Post

HYDERABAD: The European Space Agency (ESA) and Roscosmos’ ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) has detected a green glow in the atmosphere around Mars. This is the first time that such greenish glow is discovered in the Mars atmosphere which indicates might indicate the presence of oxygen on Mars.

According to reports of agency scientists, this green glow was never seen on any of the planets except on the Earth, which contains oxygen. These observations were reported in Nature Astronomy by Roscosmos’ ExoMarsTGO.

The spacecraft has been monitoring the composition of the atmosphere in Mars, and how they change in different seasons since October 2016.

Lead Author Jean-Claude Gerard, of the Universite de Liege in Belgium, said that such emissions can be seen on Earth stems in the night glow as oxygen atoms emit a certain wavelength of light, and such emission was not noticed any of the planets till now.

But Mars is the first planet after earth to emit such emissions, and this emission has been predicted to exist from around 40 years In Mars, said  Gerard.

Gerard and his colleagues were able to spot this bright emission in the Mars atmosphere using a special observing mode. 

Through the observations from TGO, the scientists discovered that atmospheric glow on Mars is also caused by oxygen molecules and the brightness of this glow changes with different altitudes. This indicates that the brightness of the glow is being affected by its distance from the Sun.

Scientists said that they have to conduct further studies to understand the exact nature of this emission.

Scientists opined that even though this greenish glow resembles the Earth's glow but there is a vast difference between both the planets atmospheric conditions, and there might be a possibility that other factors might be causing the greenish glow on Mars.

Gerard said that the observations at Mars agree with previous theoretical models, but not in exact resemblance with actual glowing around Earth, where the emission is far weaker, and we have to study more about how oxygen atoms behave.

 

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