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Observations and Modeling of Martian Auroras


Observations of planetary auroras form a new area of planetary exploration from space, especially for nonmagnetic planets since various kinds of auroras like Discrete, Proton and Diffuse auroras have been observed at Mars. We review the latest results of Martian auroras obtained by the instruments (1) SPICAM (Spectroscopy for the Investigation of the Characteristics of the Atmosphere of Mars) aboard Mars Express (MEX) and (2) IUVS (the Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph) on MAVEN (the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution mission). The MARSIS instrument (the Mars Advanced Radar for the Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding) on MEX, in addition, exhibited strong ionizations in some electron density profiles, thus providing further evidence for the existence of Martian auroras. We review these MARSIS observations as well. In addition, we review various models of Martian auroras.

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One of the authors S. A. Haider is thankful to DST/SERB for providing him J. C. Bose National fellowship. He also likes to thank ISRO for giving him “ISRO Merit Award 2017” and honoring him with the Visiting Scientist Position at PRL. K. K. Mahajan is thankful to the Indian National Science Academy for awarding lifetime Emeritus Scientist position. J. C. Gérard acknowledges partial support from the PRODEX Program managed by the European Space Agency with help of the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office (BELSPO). The contributions by N. M. Schneider, J. Deighan and S. K. Jain and S. W. Bougher were supported by NASA through the MAVEN Project.

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Haider, S.A., Mahajan, K.K., Bougher, S.W. et al. Observations and Modeling of Martian Auroras. Space Sci Rev 218, 32 (2022).

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