Martian Flares Sighted Sky & Telescope

In the May 2001 issue of Sky & Telescope, Thomas Dobbins and William Sheehan discussed rare historical observations of bright, star-like flares from certain regions on the planet Mars. They suggested that the brightenings might be caused by specular reflections of sunlight off water-ice crystals in surface frosts or atmospheric clouds, specifically at times when the sub-Sun and sub-Earth points were nearly coincident and close to the planet’s central meridian (the imaginary line running down the center of the visible disk from pole to pole). Based on their analysis, Dobbins and Sheehan predicted that flares like those last reported in 1958 might erupt this week in Edom Promontorium, near the Martian equator at longitude 345