The Day the Solar Wind Disappeared from Mars

  • Released Monday, December 11, 2023
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In December 2022, NASA’s Mars-orbiting MAVEN mission observed the dramatic and unexpected “disappearance” of the solar wind, a stream of charged particles that continuously emanates from the Sun. This was caused by a special type of solar event that was so powerful, it created a void in its wake as it traveled through the solar system. The Martian atmosphere and magnetosphere expanded by thousands of kilometers in response, causing the solar wind to temporarily vanish from Mars. MAVEN’s observations of this dramatic event are helping scientists to better understand the physics that drive atmospheric and water loss at Mars.

Learn more about MAVEN’s observation of the disappearing solar wind at Mars.

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NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

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This page was originally published on Monday, December 11, 2023.
This page was last updated on Wednesday, May 29, 2024 at 6:56 PM EDT.


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