NASA Green Glow Atmosphere Mars
The European Space Agency’s Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) has captured a brilliant green glow in the atmosphere of Mars for the first time. It occurs due to interactions between the sun’s light and oxygen molecules in Mars’ atmosphere. On Earth, glowing oxygen is produced during polar auroras when energetic electrons from interplanetary space hit the upper atmosphere, and this oxygen-driven emission of light gives them the characteristic green hue. Read more for a video and additional information.



The auroras are just one way in which planetary atmospheres light up. Earth and Mars atmospheres constantly glow during both day and night as sunlight interacts with atoms and molecules within the atmosphere.

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Previous observations hadn’t captured any kind of green glow at Mars, so we decided to reorient the UVIS nadir channel to point at the ‘edge’ of Mars, similar to the perspective you see in images of Earth taken from the ISS,” said co-author Ann Carine Vandaele of the Institut Royal d’Aéronomie Spatiale de Belgique, Belgium, and Principal Investigator of NOMAD.