Saturday, April 08, 2006

Mars' atmosphere altered by solar flares



'Boston University astronomers announced today the first clear evidence that solar flares change the upper atmosphere of Mars. In an article published in the February 24th issue of the journal Science, the researchers describe how X-ray bursts from the Sun in April 2001 recorded by satellites near Earth reached Mars and caused dramatic enhancements to the planet's ionosphere -- the region of a planet's atmosphere where the Sun's ultraviolet and X-rays are absorbed by atoms and molecules. The measurements were made by the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft at the Red Planet as it transmitted signals back to NASA's antenna sites back on Earth...' More

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