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Scientists directly observe electron dynamics of the Northern Lights

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Scientists directly observe electron dynamics of the Northern Lights

Post by Dragon on Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:45 pm

The shower of electrons bouncing across Earth's magnetosphere, commonly known as the Northern Lights, has been directly observed for the first time by an international team of scientists. While the cause of these colorful auroras has long been hypothesized, researchers had never directly observed the underlying mechanism until now. The results have been published in Nature.

The spectacle of the Northern Lights is a fantastic show widely considered to be one of the great natural wonders of the world. Among a variety of auroras, pulsating auroral patches appearing at dawn are common, but the physical mechanisms driving this auroral pulsation were never verified through observation.

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Re: Scientists directly observe electron dynamics of the Northern Lights

Post by Dragon on Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:46 pm


Credit: 2018 ERG science team.

The ERG spacecraft observed chorus waves and scattered electrons in the magnetosphere, the origin of pulsation auroras. The scattered electrons precipitated into the atmosphere resulting in auroral illumination. Intermittent occurrence of chorus waves and associated electron scattering lead to auroral pulsation.

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Re: Scientists directly observe electron dynamics of the Northern Lights

Post by Dragon on Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:52 pm



Pulsating Aurora (Northern Lights, Aurora Borealis)

 
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