Researchers begin to understand correlation of Schumann resonances and dust storms on Mars

Mars [image credit: ESA]

Wikipedia says: ‘Within the Solar System there are five candidates for Schumann resonance detection besides the Earth: Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Saturn’s biggest moon Titan.’ The frequencies reported from Mars in 2009 are also found on Earth.
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The interaction of dust particles in Martian dust storms may cause electric fields that are powerful enough to have charges that induce standing electromagnetic waves known as Sсhumann resonances, reports Phys.org.

This is the conclusion drawn by physicists from HSE University, the Space Research Institute, and MIPT. The paper was published in the journal Icarus.

Mars has been a focus of active study over the last decade, with researchers looking at possible space missions to the planet. Knowledge about the Martian atmosphere increases the chances that such missions will be successful.

In particular, the behavior of dust particles and the plasma-dust system on the surface of Mars should be taken into account in planning space trips.

In 2009, a 34 m radio telescope of NASA’s Deep Space Network registered a non-thermal microwave radiation during a Martian dust storm. In the observed radiation spectrum, attributes of Schumann resonances were detected at frequencies of 7.83 Hz, 14.1 Hz, and 20.3 Hz.

Researchers from HSE University, the Space Research Institute and MIPT looked at the role of dust and dust plasma in the excitement of ultra-low-frequency (below 100 kHz) standing electromagnetic waves on Mars. Since the mid-1950s, this phenomenon has been known as Schumann resonances, after Otto Schumann, an Austrian scholar who was the first to study standing electromagnetic waves in an Earth-ionosphere resonator.

For electromagnetic waves, the Earth and its ionosphere are a huge spherical resonator, with its cavity filled with a weakly electrically conductive medium. If an electromagnetic wave that evolves in this medium goes around the Earth and resonates itself, it can exist for a long time.

Schumann resonances on Earth are presumably caused by thunderstorm charges in the spherical cavity between the planet’s surface and the lower layers of the ionosphere.

“Lightning activity is related to average temperature on Earth,” said Sergey Popel, Professor at the HSE Faculty of Physics, Laboratory Head at RAS Space Research Institute. “Observations also confirm a correlation between the temperature and the amplitudes of Schumann resonances on Earth. This data has become a foundation for our studies of similar phenomena on Mars.”

The scholars analyzed the mechanism that ensures the loading of power in the Schumann resonator. It turned out that electrical discharges are a ‘good candidate.”

But these electrical discharges have a different nature as compared to Earthly lightnings. Lightnings in their Earthly understanding are not typical for Martian atmosphere in which dust swirls, also called ‘dust devils,” are widespread. They are small storms measuring about 100 m in diameter that last several minutes.

That’s why there are no analogs to Earthly meteorological clouds in the rare and dry Martian atmosphere, but dust phenomena play an important role.

Full report here.

via Tallbloke’s Talkshop

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November 3, 2021 at 10:45AM

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