An unexpectedly strong blast from the Sun hit Mars this month, observed by NASA missions in orbit and on the surface. NASA announced Friday that a coronal mass ejection from the Sun on September 11 was so strong that charged particles caused a planet-wide aurora on Mars. According to team members of NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission, the solar event caused the entirety of Mars to light up in ultra-violet light. The aurora was also 25 times brighter than any event seen by the MAVEN orbiter thus far. The orbiter has been studying the atmosphere of Mars since 2014.