Mars is one of the great mysteries of our solar system—a place without life today, full of unique phenomena, and of great scientific value. Currently, the Perseverance rover, NASA’s motorized device that includes a new technology system and a series of Mastcamp Z cameras, has captured something that intrigues scientists. In one of the photos, the small 4×4 used to measure the amount of dust in the Red Planet’s atmosphere managed to capture something that hadn’t been seen on Earth for a few weeks. And it’s a big sunspot.
A large sunspot that will only be visible on Earth in a few days and fascinates astronomers
This is an unusual fact since an astronomical phenomenon has already been detected in advance on another planet in the solar system. SpaceWeather, which has broken down the information disseminated by NASA, has stated that it is a large sunspot that could affect Earth and that it would be visible from our planet within a few days. But why can’t we see it earlier on Mars than on the blue planet? “Because Mars orbits on the opposite side of the Sun, Perseverance can see approaching sunspots more than a week ahead,” notes SpaceWeather. But is it worrying?
No. Sunspots are dark-looking areas on the sun’s surface, and although they’re darker than the others because they’re colder than other parts of the sun’s surface, they still reach high temperatures. These spots are charged with high and intense magnetic activity, and yes, they can impact the Earth, although not particularly severely or damagingly as of yet. Various studies have attempted to correlate the 11-year cycles of these sunspots and make connections to cyclical phenomena on Earth, such as climate variability, rainy and dry periods, variations in day length, and electrical equipment problems.
The phenomenon was discovered on Mars and affects a giant sunspot
These places, which emit radiation in excess of high energy while also emitting solar plasma, are very active regions of our sun, which is why they are usually detected by our surveillance systems. In a few days, we’ll be seeing these spots in more detail from Earth’s surface, although Mars will have told us in advance what we’ll find.