Scientists announced this week that NASA’s Mars InSight lander has detected strange magnetic pulses during the nighttime – exactly at midnight, a phenomenon that can’t yet be explained, that are raising “interesting questions.” They’re unexpected because these pulses are distinct from what are typically observed on the Earth’s surface at the same local time. Researchers suggest that they are associated with fluctuations in the induced magnetotail and on the magnetospheric boundary. Read more for a video and additional information.
The mysterious magnetic pulses are also detected with a regular frequency, which is baffling the researchers, especially given where the InSight lander is currently located on the planet’s equator. NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor discovered that Mars once had a global magnetic field similar to Earth’s, but scientists believe that it collapsed billions of years ago, with one theory proposing that huge asteroids once bombarded the Red Planet causing the catastrophe.
Under this scenario, the distinct field and plasma environment at Mars raises interesting questions about how these oscillations propagate through the magnetosphere and ionosphere and reach the surface,” said the researchers.