Mars and and the solar wind

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Phobos
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Joined: Thu Oct 19, 2017 2:54 pm

Mars and and the solar wind

Post by Phobos » Sun Dec 17, 2017 7:30 pm

I read an article which states that apparently Mars tenuous atmosphere would protect it from solar radiation. I thought a planet needed a magnetic field in order to be protected? Am I correct?

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lisa
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Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:28 pm

Re: Mars and and the solar wind

Post by lisa » Sun Dec 17, 2017 8:10 pm

Hi Phobos,

You are correct! Without the protection of a magnetic field, most of Mars' atmosphere has been (and continues to be) stripped away by the solar wind. Here are a couple of nice articles that discusses this based on recent results from Maven:

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa ... t-to-space
https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa ... atmosphere
https://www.space.com/36277-mars-thick- ... space.html

Mars' atmosphere is now very thin and weak - it only has a fraction of a percent of the atmospheric pressure we have here on Earth. It is possible that the article that you saw was suggesting that this remaining weak atmosphere could provide some protection.

Cheers!
-Lisa

Phobos
Posts: 34
Joined: Thu Oct 19, 2017 2:54 pm

Re: Mars and and the solar wind

Post by Phobos » Sun Dec 17, 2017 8:22 pm

Thanks Lisa for such a speedy response! Also for the links.

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