Solar storms will help NASA figure out if it's possible to live on Mars

Solar storms will help NASA figure out if it's possible to live on Mars

The Sun is now entering a period of peak activity called solar maximum, which occurs approximately every 11 years. During this period, giant explosions erupt on the surface of the Sun, including solar flares and so-called coronal mass ejections. When a series of these solar events erupt, they are called a solar storm, and they emit radiation deep into space.

This is also the reason why people will be able to see such powerful northern lights in more places than northern Norway this year.

NASA wrote that this radiation will now be used to figure out how people could live on Mars in the future Sky News.

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We will discover how hospitable Mars really is

Here on Earth we are protected by the planet's magnetic field, but Mars is said to have lost this protection long ago. Therefore, the “Red Planet” is more exposed to energetic particles from the Sun.

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Scientists still do not know the extent to which solar storms and the radiation emanating from them will affect humans and robots on Mars in the future. That's what they hope they can now discover with the help of the Maven (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutionN) spacecraft and the Curiosity rover.

Watch the video: This solar storm knocked out radio signals from Earth last year

The Maven spacecraft has been in orbit around Mars since 2014, while the Curiosity rover has been on the ground on Mars since 2012. Maven monitors radiation, solar particles and more from high above Mars. It can detect large solar storms early from its location, and thus can send warnings to other Martian spacecraft when radiation levels start to rise. Advanced warning enables teams piloting these spacecraft to turn off devices that may be vulnerable to solar storms, which can disrupt electronics and radio communications.

See also  Patterns on Mars indicate conditions favorable to life in the planet's past

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Meanwhile, the Curiosity spacecraft is collecting data via an instrument about how much radioactivity is present on Earth. This device was named Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD). When solar storms are underway now, NASA will see if there are any changes in the reports issued by RAD.

This way, scientists can learn more about how suitable Mars really is, and what kind of protection astronauts should have. This will also be crucial in determining how humans can live on Mars in the future.

We hope to get more answers

according to Tech Times NASA will also use extreme solar energy to investigate how Mars went from a hot, humid world to its current frozen desert state.

Mars occasionally experiences severe dust storms, and these storms are especially risky during solar peak when the planet orbits close to the sun. Researchers believe that these storms may contribute to the loss of water from the Martian atmosphere, and be one of the reasons for the transition from a habitable world to the current dry state.

Therefore, they are fascinated by the possibility of a global dust storm coinciding with a solar storm, and the extent of its impact on the atmosphere of Mars. This solar maximum will also occur at the same time as Mars' dustiest season, and represents an opportune moment to explore these phenomena, Tech Times writes.

Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

"Explorer. Unapologetic entrepreneur. Alcohol fanatic. Certified writer. Wannabe tv evangelist. Twitter fanatic. Student. Web scholar. Travel buff."

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