Sci-tech

Nasa curiosity rover struck by blast of radiation on Mars

Blast of radiation hitting Curiosity Rover is equivalent to that of 30 chest X-rays

By  Web Desk   |  
June 11, 2024
An image of the Nasa's Curiosity Rover sitting on Mars. — Nasa/File

Nasa’s Curiosity Rover on Mars has been hit with a blast of radiation, which is equivalent to that of 30 chest X-rays as the Sun stands at its 11-year solar cycle peak.

The Sun is more likely to emit bursts of energy and particles into space with the solar cycle at peak.

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A glorious aurora on Earth, stroked by a recent solar storm, after which on May 20, the strongest solar flare from the Sun hit the Red Planet.

Following this celestial event, another solar explosion, coronal mass ejection, which is a blast of energetic particles from the Sun's surface, reached Mars.

The Martian surface was hit by these energetic particles from the Sun’s surface and Nasa's Curiosity Rover captured the effect.

In a statement on May 20, the US space agency said that so much energy from the storm struck the Curiosity Rover's surface that its black-and-white images danced with “snow”, which are white streaks and specks caused by charged particles hitting the cameras.

Mars lost its protective magnetic field long ago unlike the Earth whose magnetic field traps energetic particles in the high atmosphere, thereby impacting the Martian ground.

Notably, the magnetic field helps shield the surface, and us, from radiations.

The May 20 radiation was the highest ever measured ever since the Curiosity Rover landed on Mars in 2012.


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