Sun launches surprise blob of plasma at Mars, could trigger eerie Martian auroras

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The sun has hurled a sizeable coronal mass ejection directly toward Mars. (Image credit: Shutterstock)

A mysterious explosion on the sun’s far side has launched a blob of plasma and radiation that is forecast to slam into Mars. If the solar storm hits the Red Planet, it could trigger faint ultraviolet auroras and potentially erode part of the Martian atmosphere, according to experts.  

Earth-orbiting satellites detected the surprise explosion on Aug. 26 on the far side of the sun. Further analysis revealed the explosion was an M-class solar flare, the second most powerful type of solar eruption. However, researchers are still unsure what triggered the explosion as there were no prior signs of sunspots — dark, highly magnetized patches on the sun’s surface that solar flares are launched from — near where the blast originated, according to

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