Evidence Of Solitary Waves Around Mars:
Indian Institute of Geomagnetism (IIG), an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) has found evidence of “solitary waves” in the weak magnetic field around Mars for the first time.
- Scientists used high-resolution electric field data from NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft to make the discovery of solitary waves.
- Unlike Earth, the planet Mars does not have any intrinsic magnetic field. This allows the high-speed solar wind to interact directly with the Mars atmosphere, like an obstacle in flow.
- It has been suggested that even in a weak and thin magnetosphere as that of Mars, frequent occurrences of solitary waves can be observed.
- However, despite several missions to Mars, the presence of solitary waves in the Martian magnetosphere has never been reported earlier.
- The waves were found mostly in the morning and evening on Mars, at altitudes of 1000-3500 km, and their exact cause is still unknown.
- Solitary waves are the distinct electric field fluctuations (bipolar or monopolar) that follow constant amplitude-phase relations.
- Their shape and size are less affected during their propagation.