UAE’s Hope Probe makes major Mars discovery

The Emirates Mars Mission is working with NASA to study this proton.

A new type of proton aurora around Mars has been discovered by the UAE’s Hope Probe.

Experts believe the ‘patchy’ proton aurora has the potential to offer new insights into unexpected behaviours in the Martian atmosphere.

The proton aurora is formed when the solar wind directly impacts Mars’ dayside upper atmosphere and emits ultraviolet light as it slows down.

The Emirates Mars Mission (EMM) team has worked together with NASA’s MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution) mission to fully characterise these observations.

Speaking on the discovery, EMM’s Science Lead Hessa Al Matroushi said; “Our discovery of this patchy proton aurora adds a new kind of event to the long list of those currently studied by EMM and challenges our existing views of how the proton aurora on Mars’ dayside are formed.”

“The EMM Hope probe has so far uncovered many unexpected phenomena that extend our understanding of Mars’ atmospheric and magnetospheric dynamics. These new observations, combined with MAVEN data, have lifted the lid on entirely new possibilities for scientific research.”



The Hope Probe entered Mars’ orbit in February 2021 in what was a major achievement for the country’s space programme.

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Image source WAM

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