back to article Solar wind gave Mars a breather and its magnetosphere inflated

NASA's MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution) mission has observed an abrupt and dramatic drop in the solar wind, resulting in an expansion of the Martian atmosphere and magnetosphere by thousands of kilometers. Mars and the solar winds Artist's rendering of a solar storm hitting Mars and stripping ions from the …

  1. HuBo

    Let the sun-wind in!

    Whoah, Nelly! These sudden expansions of the Martian atmosphere really do a number on my green hairdo!

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Let the sun-wind in!

      That's OK, green hair is, like, totally late '70s-early '80s.

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Woah there, Mercury has a magnetosphere ?

    That tiny thing ? The smallest of all official planets has a magnetosphere while Mars and Venus don't ? I mean hey, Mercury is smaller than our own Moon (check the mass figures) !

    Well blow me down. I would've thought that, if Mars was not big enough to keep a molten core and its corresponding magnetosphere like Earth, then Mercury was damned by default, but hey, this is Real Life(TM). Things don't always go like you expect them to.

    1. The commentard formerly known as Mister_C Silver badge

      To quote Douglas Adams

      There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.

      There is another theory which states that this has already happened.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: To quote Douglas Adams

        "The universe is not only stranger than we imagine, it's stranger than we can imagine." —A.C.Clarke, paraphrasing J.B.S.Haldane

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: Woah there, Mercury has a magnetosphere ?

      Mercury's orbital mechanics and proximity to the sun causes particularly powerful tidal heating.

    3. Sceptic Tank Silver badge

      Re: Woah there, Mercury has a magnetosphere ?

      Space is a messed up place. Mars = No magnetoshpere .. no atmosphere. Venus = No magnetosphere ... but atmosphere from hell that will pop your diamond reinforced camera lenses if you're not careful. I don't live in academia, but I imagine one or two PhD papers will need some revision before publishing.

  3. s. pam Silver badge

    Perfect time to drop Muskyboy

    And two residents of Montecito Ca. onto the red planet for a one-way trip!

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