Instead of little green men, the astronauts who put their boots on Martian soil are greeted by a green-striped sky.

Scientists have known for more than 15 years that auroras, pulsating light shows in the atmosphere, exist on Mars. The planet’s auroras were found in small patches that appeared to be springing up like mushrooms. The roofs of light that formed them are believed to have come from the remnants of a magnetic field that decayed billions of years ago.

But researchers have…

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