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Views of Martian Aurora from Above and Below

Presentation #215.08 in the session Planetary Space Physics Talks (Oral Presentation)

Published onOct 23, 2023
Views of Martian Aurora from Above and Below

Multiple missions, including MGS, MEX, MAVEN, and EMM, have observed aurora from above in orbit around Mars. InSight, carrying the first magnetometer on the surface, has the capability to observe aurora - or at least consequences of aurora - from below. Near-coincident observations from EMM in orbit and from InSight on the surface show that nighttime, surface level magnetic field variations are correlated with auroral emission observed from orbit. These magnetic field variations are assumed to be a result of ionospheric auroral currents. From the magnitude of the magnetic field variations, we can estimate (a lower limit of) the strength of the equivalent current. Auroral images can constrain the location of the current with respect to the lander. Such coincident observations can give us insights into the ionospheric electrodynamics of aurora and the energetics of the driving processes.

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