Mars - Electric Atmosphere

Historic planetary instability and catastrophe. Evidence for electrical scarring on planets and moons. Electrical events in today's solar system. Electric Earth.

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Mars - Electric Atmosphere

Unread postby StefanR » Tue Jun 17, 2008 9:37 am

Plasma Acceleration above Martian Magnetic Anomalies
• Aurorae: Caused by accelerated charged particles
precipitating along magnetic field lines into a planetary
atmosphere - the auroral brightness is roughly proportional to
the precipitating particle energy flux.
• The Analyzer of Space Plasma and Energetic Atoms
(ASPERA-3) experiment on the Mars Express spacecraft has
made a detailed study of acceleration processes on the
nightside of Mars.
• We observe accelerated electrons and ions in the deep
nightside high altitude region of Mars that map geographically
to interface/cleft regions associated with Martian crustal
magnetization regions

Image
Orbit track of spacecraft in latitude and east longitude coordinates showing the traversal of an
“inverted V” event (dashed line) adjacent to a crustal magnetic field anomaly (dark region).

Image
Map of crustal magnetic field at 400 km marking ion
and electron acceleration (“inverted V”) events. All
events occurring close to local midnight

Image
Acceleration and guidance of ions and electrons
along crustal magnetic field lines at Mars
Cusp/cleft aurora is expected to occur between adjacent anomalies and
halo aurora circumscribing the large-scale region of crustal magnetization

ImageImage
Daytime and nighttime - map of Mars

Conclusions
Auroral particle acceleration over Mars
• Upward accelerated ions and downward accelerated
electrons are observed near local midnight, on flux tubes
connecting to strong crustal magnetizations. Strong
similarities with auroral plasma acceleration near the Earth
⇒ Discrete aurorae likely in boundaries interfacing crustal
magnetization regions at Mars.
• Aurora on Mars should form complex patterns over the
nightside southern hemisphere, near the equator (compare
with polar aurora over the Earth).
⇒ Aurora on Mars cannot be observed from the Earth (like
polar aurora on e.g. Jupiter and Saturn

http://www.cosis.net/abstracts/EGU06/02847/EGU06-J-02847.pdf
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Re: Aurora on Mars

Unread postby StefanR » Tue Jun 17, 2008 9:40 am

Solar Wind-Induced Atmospheric Erosion at Mars: First Results from ASPERA-3 on Mars Express

The Analyzer of Space Plasma and Energetic Atoms (ASPERA) on board the Mars Express spacecraft found that solar wind plasma and accelerated ionospheric ions may be observed all the way down to the Mars Express pericenter of 270 kilometers above the dayside planetary surface. This is very deep in the ionosphere, implying direct exposure of the martian topside atmosphere to solar wind plasma forcing. The low-altitude penetration of solar wind plasma and the energization of ionospheric plasma may be due to solar wind irregularities or perturbations, to magnetic anomalies at Mars, or both.
http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=36574
A Sporadic Third Layer in the Ionosphere of Mars

The daytime martian ionosphere has been observed as a two-layer structure with electron densities that peak at altitudes between about 110 and 130 kilometers. The Mars Express Orbiter Radio Science Experiment on the European Mars Express spacecraft observed, in 10 out of 120 electron density profiles, a third ionospheric layer at altitude ranges of 65 to 110 kilometers, where electron densities, on average, peaked at 0.8 x 1010 per cubic meter. Such a layer has been predicted to be permanent and continuous. Its origin has been attributed to ablation of meteors and charge exchange of magnesium and iron. Our observations imply that this layer is present sporadically and locally.
http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=38361#
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Re: Aurora on Mars

Unread postby StefanR » Tue Jun 17, 2008 9:46 am

Image
a way of depicting the surface magnetic fields on the planet to emphasize their ability to shield the surface from the solar wind. The greater the bulge, the stronger and more protective the magnetic field. Note that most of the remaining magnetic fields are in the southern hemisphere. Credit: David Brain/SSL


Auroras similar to Earth's Northern Lights appear to be common on Mars, according to physicists at the University of California, Berkeley, who have analyzed six years' worth of data from the Mars Global Surveyor.

According to the physicists, the auroras on Mars aren't due to a planet-wide magnetic field, but instead are associated with patches of strong magnetic field in the crust, primarily in the southern hemisphere. And they probably aren't as colorful either, the researchers say: The energetic electrons that interact with molecules in the atmosphere to produce the glow probably generate only ultraviolet light - not the reds, greens and blues of Earth.

"The fact that we see auroras as often as we do is amazing," said UC Berkeley physicist David A. Brain, the lead author of a paper on the discovery recently accepted by the journal Geophysical Research Letters. "The discovery of auroras on Mars teaches us something about how and why they happen elsewhere in the solar system, including on Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune."

Last year, the European spacecraft Mars Express first detected a flash of ultraviolet light on the night side of Mars and an international team of astronomers identified it as an auroral flash in the June 9, 2005, issue of Nature. Upon hearing of the discovery, UC Berkeley researchers turned to data from the Mars Global Surveyor to see if an on-board UC Berkeley instrument package - a magnetometer-electron reflectometer - had detected other evidence of auroras. The spacecraft has been orbiting Mars since September 1997 and since 1999 has been mapping from an altitude of 400 kilometers (250 miles) the Martian surface and Mars' magnetic fields. It sits in a polar orbit that keeps it always at 2 a.m. when on the night side of the planet.

Within an hour of first delving into the data, Brain and Halekas discovered evidence of an auroral flash - a peak in the electron energy spectrum identical to the peaks seen in spectra of Earth's atmosphere during an aurora. Since then, they have reviewed more than 6 million recordings by the electron reflectometer and found amid the data some 13,000 signals with an electron peak indicative of an aurora. According to Brain, this may represent hundreds of nightside auroral events like the flash seen by the Mars Express.

When the two physicists pinpointed the position of each observation, the auroras coincided precisely with the margins of the magnetized areas on the Martian surface. The same team, led by co-authors Mario H. Acuna of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and Robert Lin, UC Berkeley professor of physics and director of the Space Sciences Laboratory, has extensively mapped these surface magnetic fields using the magnetometer/reflectometer aboard the Mars Global Surveyor. Just as Earth's auroras occur where the magnetic field lines dive into the surface at the north and south poles, Mars' auroras occur at the borders of magnetized areas where the field lines arc vertically into the crust.

Of the 13,000 auroral observations so far, the largest seem to coincide with increased solar wind activity.

"The flash seen by Mars Express seems to be at the bright end of energies that are possible," Halekas said. "Just as on Earth, space weather and solar storms tend to make the auroras brighter and stronger."


"The observations suggest some acceleration process occurs like on Earth," he said. "Something has taken the electrons and given them a kick."

What that "something" is remains a mystery, though Lin and his UC Berkeley colleagues lean towards a process called :? magnetic reconnection :? , where the magnetic field traveling with the solar wind particles breaks and reconnects with the crustal field. The reconnecting field lines could be what flings the particles to higher energies.

The surface magnetic fields, Brain said, are produced by highly magnetized rock that occurs in patches up to 1,000 kilometers wide and 10 kilometers deep. These patches probably retain magnetism left from when Mars had a global field in a way similar to what occurs when a needle is stroked with a magnet, inducing magnetization that remains even after the magnet is withdrawn. When Mars' global field died out billions of years ago, the solar wind was able to strip the atmosphere away. Only the strong crustal fields are still around to protect portions of the surface.

"We call them mini-magnetospheres, because they are strong enough to stand off the solar wind," Lin said, noting that the fields extend up to 1,300 kilometers above the surface. Nevertheless, the strongest Martian magnetic field is 50 times weaker than the field at the Earth's surface. It's hard to explain how these fields are able to funnel and accelerate the solar wind efficiently enough to generate an aurora, he said.
http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n0512/12marsauroras/
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Re: Aurora on Mars

Unread postby StefanR » Tue Jun 17, 2008 9:51 am

Image
ESA's Mars Express spacecraft has for the first time ever detected an aurora on Mars. This aurora is of a type never previously observed in the Solar System.

Observations by the SPICAM instrument (SPectroscopy for the Investigations and the Characteristics of the Atmosphere on Mars) taken on 11 August 2004, revealed light emissions now interpreted as an aurora.

There is much astrobiological interest in how the magnetosphere may shield life from the sterilizing effects of intense solar radiation. The lack of a significant magnetic signal on Mars may have played a role in selecting the red planet as a relatively more hostile place for biology to develop in the past.

Aurorae have also been observed on the night side of Venus, a planet with no intrinsic (planetary) magnetic field. Unlike Earth and the giant planets, venusian aurorae appear as bright and diffuse patches of varying shape and intensity, sometimes distributed across the full planetary disc. Venusian aurorae are produced by the impact of electrons originating from the solar wind and precipitating in the night-side atmosphere.

Like Venus, Mars is a planet with no intrinsic magnetic field. A few years ago it was suggested that auroral phenomena could exist on Mars too. This hypothesis was reinforced by the recent Mars Global Surveyor discovery of crustal magnetic anomalies, most likely the remnants of an old planetary magnetic field.

SPICAM detected light emissions in the Southern hemisphere on Mars, during night time observations. The total size of the emission region is about 30 kilometers across, possibly about 8 kilometers high. Whilst the detected emission is typical for day-time, it must indicate the excitation of the upper atmosphere by fluxes of charged particles - probably electrons - if observed during night-time.

By analysing the map of crustal magnetic anomalies compiled with Mars Global Surveyor's data, scientists observed that the region of the emission corresponds to the area where the strongest magnetic field is localised. This correlation indicates that the origin of the light emission actually is a flux of electrons moving along the crust magnetic lines and exciting the upper atmosphere of Mars.

SPICAM observations provide for the first time a key insight into the role of the martian crustal magnetic field in producing original cusp-like magnetic structures. Such structures concentrate fluxes of electrons into small regions of the martian atmosphere.

Eventually, they induce the formation of highly concentrated aurorae whose formation mechanism - a localised emission controlled by anomalies in the crust's magnetic field - is unique in the Solar System.
http://astrobio.net/news/article1599.html
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Re: Aurora on Mars

Unread postby StefanR » Tue Jun 17, 2008 9:55 am

Discovery of an aurora on Mars

In the high-latitude regions of Earth, aurorae are the often-spectacular visual manifestation of the interaction between electrically charged particles (electrons, protons or ions) with the neutral upper atmosphere, as they precipitate along magnetic field lines. More generally, auroral emissions in planetary atmospheres "are those that result from the impact of particles other than photoelectrons" (ref. 1). Auroral activity has been found on all four giant planets possessing a magnetic field (Jupiter2, Saturn3, Uranus4 and Neptune5), as well as on Venus, which has no magnetic field6. On the nightside of Venus, atomic O emissions at 130.4 nm and 135.6 nm appear in bright patches of varying sizes and intensities6, which are believed to be produced by electrons with energy <300 eV (ref. 7). Here we report the discovery of an aurora in the martian atmosphere, using the ultraviolet spectrometer SPICAM on board Mars Express. It corresponds to a distinct type of aurora not seen before in the Solar System: it is unlike aurorae at Earth and the giant planets, which lie at the foot of the intrinsic magnetic field lines near the magnetic poles, and unlike venusian auroras, which are diffuse, sometimes spreading over the entire disk. Instead, the martian aurora is a highly concentrated and localized emission controlled by magnetic field anomalies in the martian crust.
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v435/n7043/pdf/nature03603.pdf


SPICAM/MEX Discovery of Aurora on Mars

Abstract
In addition to the NO emission detected for the first time in the Night side of Mars, the SPICAM UV spectrometer on board Mars Express has discovered an aurora in the Martian atmosphere (Nature, June 9, 2005). This emission is very localized, found at an altitude around 130 km, over a point of martian coordinates 177 degrees longitude, -52 degrees latitude. This corresponds exactly to a region where the crustal magnetic field is maximum, according to previous MGS mapping of the martian magnetic field, which is a remnant of an ancient intrinsic magnetic field now extinct.

The main emissions in the auroral spectrum are: 1) the CO Cameron band between 180 and 240 nm (694 ± 50 Rayleighs), also observed on the dayside . 2) the CO2+ doublet at 289 nm (71 ± 42 Rayleighs). 3) possibly fainter emissions from CO Fourth Positive Group between 135 and 170 nm and O at 297.2 nm. The presence of such emissions in the night therefore indicates excitation of the Martian atmosphere by a flux of particles, probably electrons, along magnetic field lines connected to the ground and to the interplanetary field. A new analysis of the photometry of three low resolution spectra will be presented, yielding more accurate intensity determinations.
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2005DPS....37.2404B
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Re: Aurora on Mars

Unread postby MGmirkin » Tue Jun 17, 2008 11:42 am

(Plasma Acceleration and Aurora above Martian Magnetic Anomalies)
http://www.cosis.net/abstracts/EGU06/02 ... -02847.pdf

StefanR wrote:Plasma Acceleration above Martian Magnetic Anomalies
• Aurorae: Caused by accelerated charged particles
precipitating along magnetic field lines into a planetary
atmosphere - the auroral brightness is roughly proportional to
the precipitating particle energy flux.
• We observe accelerated electrons and ions in the deep
nightside high altitude region of Mars that map geographically
to interface/cleft regions associated with Martian crustal
magnetization regions


Wait, wait, wait, whatnow? :shock:

Do they know where the charged particles are coming from and how they're getting there? Don't suppose they've found any "magnetic flux ropes" (*cough* Birkeland currents) interacting with the auroras from afar?

Been waiting for more info on this for a while. Had figured they'd eventually find charged particles flowing in along what remnant crustal field lines exist. Sweet!

Any more data on the charged particles re: field lines and where the particles are "precipitating" from would be appreciated.

Cheers,
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Mars Antisymmetry

Unread postby runaro » Tue Jun 17, 2008 11:43 am

I've noticed that Mars exhibits a curious and consistent antisymmetry in its topology:

* Its southern hemisphere is elevated and dotted with craters, while its northern hemisphere is depressed and dotted with mountains.
* The Hellas basin is directly on the opposite side of Mars from the Tharsis mountains (i.e. they are half a great circle away from each other in every direction).
* The Argyre basin lies directly opposite Elysium Mons.

Come to think of it, the Earth is similarly antisymmetric. Our south pole is capped with a land mass while the north pole is in the middle of an ocean surrounded by land masses. One one side of the Earth, the Atlantic ocean is flanked by the Americas on one side and Eurasia/Africa on the other, with the land masses narrowing southward. Exactly opposite the North Atlantic lies Australia, flanked on either side by oceans narrowing northward.

Is this a coincidence, or does the Elecrtric Universe have something to say about it?
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Re: Aurora on Mars

Unread postby MGmirkin » Tue Jun 17, 2008 11:49 am

Oops, must have missed this part:

Conclusions - Auroral particle acceleration over Mars
  • Upward accelerated ions and downward accelerated electrons are observed near local midnight, on flux tubes connecting to strong crustal magnetizations. Strong similarities with auroral plasma acceleration near the Earth
  • Discrete aurorae likely in boundaries interfacing crustal magnetization regions at Mars.
  • Aurora on Mars should form complex patterns over the nightside southern hemisphere, near the equator (compare with polar aurora over the Earth).
  • Aurora on Mars cannot be observed from the Earth (like polar aurora on e.g. Jupiter and Saturn


"Flux tubes," eh? Are those anything like "flux ropes?"

If you've got ions drifting one direction (away from the surface) and electrons drifting the opposite direction (toward the surface) in net movements of like charge, that seems to strongly imply an electric current!

William Beatty wrote:There are many ... places where [both] positive/negative charge flow can be found. In the following list of devices and materials, electric charges found within conductors are a combination of movable positive and negative particles. During an electric current, both varieties of particles are flowing past each other in opposite directions.

[Long list omitted]


By this pretty standard definition, the charged particles in Mars' atmosphere constitute an electric current! Much like Earth's auroras, Mars' also appear to have distinct electric implications!

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Re: Mars Antisymmetry

Unread postby Krackonis » Tue Jun 17, 2008 12:21 pm

Mars was held below Saturn for a few thousand years at least. Mars lost 3 kms of it's northern surface when that occured. It took thousands of years but the connection points to that current are the Anode blisters we call Olympus Mons and it's kin.

The Earth was being held at the north pole. The Canadian Shield would have been solid where those Islands are now, and over the course of 5000 or so years they were hit by stupendous mega lightening, carving the islands and fjords we see today.

The idea that one pole is slightly bent in and another slightly pushed out (Arctic vs Antarctic masses) is common in Geodes as well, which we now know indicates the current path through the geode during it's creation.
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Re: Mars Antisymmetry

Unread postby Grey Cloud » Tue Jun 17, 2008 2:13 pm

Mars was held below Saturn for a few thousand years at least. Mars lost 3 kms of it's northern surface when that occured. It took thousands of years but the connection points to that current are the Anode blisters we call Olympus Mons and it's kin.

Surely that is pure suppostion?

The Earth was being held at the north pole. The Canadian Shield would have been solid where those Islands are now, and over the course of 5000 or so years they were hit by stupendous mega lightening, carving the islands and fjords we see today.

Ditto. This also raises the question as to why Canada got islands and Scandinavia got the fjords.
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Re: Mars Antisymmetry

Unread postby redeye » Wed Jun 18, 2008 12:25 am

I'm a wee bit obsessed about this but I can't look at that topographical map of Mars without seeing antipodal focusing writ large: Mars

I would also speculate that a lot of these features, such as the Utopia basin, were formed before the Northern hemisphere suffered the disruption that appears to have removed a large portion of the crust.

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Re: Mars Antisymmetry

Unread postby StefanR » Wed Jun 18, 2008 5:39 am

Image
a way of depicting the surface magnetic fields on the planet to emphasize their ability to shield the surface from the solar wind. The greater the bulge, the stronger and more protective the magnetic field. Note that most of the remaining magnetic fields are in the southern hemisphere. Credit: David Brain/SSL


http://www.thunderbolts.info/forum/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?p=6974#p6974

Maybe the question could be what was first, the distorted magnetic field or the topographical anti-symmetry?
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Re: Mars Antisymmetry

Unread postby redeye » Wed Jun 18, 2008 6:14 am

Maybe the question could be what was first, the distorted magnetic field or the topographical anti-symmetry?


That picture intrigued me. It seems to me to show that the magnetic field is being generated at the surface rather than somewhere in the core (or I could be jumping to wrong conclusions...again), which in turn makes me think of the Sun and Birkelands Terrella.

I would say the removal of the Northern hemispheric crust distorted the magnetic field.

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Re: Mars Antisymmetry

Unread postby nick c » Wed Jun 18, 2008 7:28 am

Greetings runaro,
Our neighbor Mars, came out as a loser in the Theomachy- the wars of the gods. The EU postulates that much material has been removed from Mars by enormous electrical discharges orders of magnitude greater than the lightning strikes (on Earth) we see today. While, I would agree in principle with Krakonis' post, I would not necessarily agree with his time frame.
runaro wrote:
I've noticed that Mars exhibits a curious and consistent antisymmetry in its topology[...]
[...]does the Elecrtric Universe have something to say about it?

Yes it does...
The puzzling difference between the northern and southern hemispheres of Mars is explained simply if the north pole was the cathode in the tornadic electrical exchange. Material would then have been removed from the northern hemisphere to give the low, flat and relatively uncratered terrain found there.'
http://www.holoscience.com/news.php?article=yk0dspt4

The asymetry of Mars and Earth are consistent with the Saturn Theory, another piece of the puzzle, the solution for which is to be found in a forensic type of methodology.

Mars has an enormous scar, Valles Marineris, looking like a fatal wound. Much material has been removed, where did it go?
http://www.holoscience.com/news.php?article=rnde0zza
Numerous ancient sources name or depict Mars as "scarface." If there is any connection between "scarface" and Valles Marineris than Mars and Earth must have been in very different positions than is observed today.
Mars

The planet Mars, of course, is associated with war, and the month of March is named after it. He was the fearless warrior who wielded thunderbolts, and he is venerated by many differing cultures across the globe, where the themes vary little.

Consider the following parallels:

'Scarface' was the name of a legendary Blackfoot Indian warrior, also called 'Star Boy'. The Pawnee warrior, Morning Star, can also be identified as the planet Mars. Greek mythology describes various heroes and rogues being struck down by a thunderbolt. For example, when Ares, the planet Mars, was wounded in battle, he roared with the din of a thousand warriors and rushed to Zeus to show off his scars. Hindu myths also speak of a deep scar on the head of the warrior Indra, their god of the cosmic thunderbolt.

Pictured right is the Aztec god Xipe, sporting a scarred face.
http://www.plasmacosmology.net/myth.html


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Re: Aurora on Mars

Unread postby StefanR » Wed Jun 18, 2008 9:50 am

Origins of the Martian Aurorae Observed by SPICAM on
Board Mars Express

During orbit 716 ofMars Express mission, the clear identification of an auroral type emission has
been done by SPICAM UV spectrometer [1]. A significant increase of the measured emission
has been observed during 7 seconds on the Martian nightside. This increase of the emission is
not similar than the already well-identified nightglow emission [2]. It is composed of the CO
(A1Π−X1Σ+) 4P bands, of the C 156.1 and 165.7 nm, of the CO (a3−X1Σ+) Cameron
bands, of the CO+2 (˜B 2 Σ+u − ˜X 2g) doublet and of the O (297.2 nm) emissions
which
classically composed the Martian dayglow.
Thanks to the property of SPICAM spectrometer we have been able to estimate the position
and altitude of this emission along SPICAM field of view. The very high correlation between
this position and the presence of the highest crustal magnetic field structures identified atMars
[3] strongly suggests the role of these structures in driving the incident electrons at the origin of
these emissions. It is a strong identification of very localized peak of ion density on theMartian
nightside in the region of crustal magnetic field and also of the importance of the crustal field
in driving the nightside ionosphere.
http://www.asiaoceania.org/pdf2006/ps/59-PS-A0750.pdf
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