The difference between Earth and Mars is that Mars doesn’t really have a global magnetic field to protect it from the space weather. However, it has spots of induced magnetism. Scientists were able to create a detailed map of these electric currents, which are the reason behind the shaping of these magnetic fields.
It allows scientists to understand better how Mars has lost much of its atmosphere in billions of years, and also how interactions between Mars’s magnetosphere and the solar winds are happening right now. The team is working with Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft, and they’ve been able to get some fantastic visualizations from the magnetic ratings. The hidden flows of energy are visible in full color.
Robin Ramstad, a planetary scientist, stated, “These currents play a fundamental role in the atmospheric loss that transformed Mars from a world that could have supported life into an inhospitable desert. We are now currently working on using the currents to determine the precise amount of energy that is drawn from the solar wind and powers atmospheric escape.”
The team has taken a look at five years –worth of data from MAVEN in order to work on their map. This map shows the electrical currents, which created a double up structure around Mars.
The currents have their way of interacting with the incoming solar wind, which makes envelop Mars and simplify flow around it. All of these findings were spotted by MAVEN about three years ago.
We have also learned about a more exciting thing that these researchers found – the detail of the interplay between the electric currents in the solar winds and how the energy is transferred between magnetosphere, the upper atmosphere, and solar wind.