New research into the vast hydrogen cloud around Mars has found that so-called ‘proton auroras’ are far more common than previously thought and may unlock the mystery of how Mars lost its oceans and rivers.

The new study found that the proton aurora, first spotted in 2016 by NASA’s MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN) mission, is the most common form of aurora found on Mars and may help further humanity’s understanding of climate change on the planet and, more specifically, the rate of water loss into the vacuum of space.

These auroras sweep across the skies above the dusty plains of the Red Planet, though unlike the aurora borealis back here on Earth, future colonists will need ultraviolet goggles to see them.

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