Tags: mars | outer space | earth | science

Strange Magnetic Pulses on Mars Leave Scientists Stumped

The surface of Mars
The surface of Mars. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell University/Arizona State University via AP)

By    |   Monday, 23 September 2019 02:12 PM

Scientists have detected strange magnetic pulses on Mars that they cannot explain. The continuous vibrations start like clockwork at midnight but no one knows where they come from or what is causing them.

The unusual findings, which were recorded by the InSight capsule, were outlined in a report presented at the European Planetary Science Congress annual meeting earlier this month.

Earth also experiences pulses, which are fluctuations in the magnetic field, but what makes the ones recorded on Mars so unique is the regular frequency at which they occur.

"The nighttime continuous pulsations found by IFG [InSight FluxGate] are unexpected because they are distinct from what are typically observed on the Earth's surface at the same local time," researchers wrote.

One theory is that solar winds create a weak magnetic bubble that forms a tail shape with which InSight happens to be aligned to at midnight, and which plucks the surface magnetic field as the tail passes through the lander. However, scientists cannot be sure.

Since landing on Mars in 2018, InSight has made some fascinating discoveries. For starters, it found that the magnetic field of Mars is roughly 20 times stronger than what was initially thought.

Both Earth and Mars have major magnetic fields, but around four billion years ago this field collapsed on the red planet, leaving it vulnerable to radiation that eventually stripped away its atmosphere. This new discovery may offer valuable insight into the planet’s history.

"We're getting an insight into Mars' magnetic history in a way we've never had before," Paul Byrne, a planetary geologist at North Carolina State University who was not involved with the work, told National Geographic.

InSight has also picked up on an electrically conductive layer deep beneath the surface of Mars, and some believe this could mean a reservoir of water lies beneath the crust. If this is the case, then it could have far-reaching implications for the potential of life on the planet.

This is all just speculation at the moment but it challenges what we thought we knew about Mars and can greatly benefit future missions while offering a better understanding into the functioning of the planet.

Related stories:

© 2019 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
TheWire
Scientists have detected strange magnetic pulses on Mars that they cannot explain. The continuous vibrations start like clockwork at midnight but no one knows where they come from or what is causing them.
mars, outer space, earth, science
382
2019-12-23
Monday, 23 September 2019 02:12 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved