Mars surface well protected from Solar winds despite lack of magnetic fields
New Delhi : The red planet may not have Earth-like magnetic poles, but the atmosphere on Mars is well protected from the solar winds, claims a new study. Currently, Mars is cold and has dry surface but 3-4 billion years ago the planet is believed to have an active hydrological cycle.
This means to maintain a hydrological cycle, the planet must have required a warmer climate on the planet's early history. Solar winds must have penetrated through the atmosphere, causing the greenhouse effect to collapse.
Unlike Earth, Mars has no global magnetic dipole, but the solar wind instead induces currents in the ionised upper atmosphere, creating an induced magnetosphere.
"It has long been thought that this induced magnetosphere is insufficient to protect the Martian atmosphere," said Robin Ramstad from Umea University in Sweden. "However our measurements show something different," Ramstad said.
The researchers took measurement from the Swedish particle instrument ASPERA-3 on the Mars Express spacecraft.
The spacecraft has been measuring the ion escape from Mars since 2004.