New evaluation confirms speculation for supply of mysterious auroral “dunes”


Revisiting the aurora “dunes”: A time-lapse video recorded by a Scottish aurora borealis hobbyist Graeme Whipps was used to find out the velocity of the phenomenon at over 200 m/s.
A number of years in the past, newbie astronomers first noticed a uncommon sort of aurora nicknamed “the dunes” due to its luminous, rolling wave patterns. Final yr, astronomers proposed a attainable underlying mechanism—a rise within the density of oxygen atoms—though the idea was admittedly speculative. Now, a brand new evaluation by researchers on the College of Helsinki gives proof to verify that rationalization, in keeping with a current paper printed within the journal AGU Advances.
Most individuals have a passing familiarity with the atmospheric phenomenon often known as aurora borealis, aka the northern lights (or the southern lights if they seem within the southern hemisphere). The spectacular kaleidoscopic results are the results of charged particles from the Solar being dumped into the Earth’s magnetosphere, the place they collide with oxygen and nitrogen molecules—an interplay that excites these molecules and makes them glow. Auroras sometimes current as shimmering ribbons within the sky, with inexperienced, purple, blue, and yellow hues. The lights are inclined to solely be seen in polar areas as a result of the particles observe the Earth’s magnetic subject strains, which fan out from the neighborhood of the poles.
Discoveries of attainable new kinds of auroras are uncommon. Again in 2016, fanatics noticed a unique type of aurora that was seen at extra southern latitudes. The aurora regarded like a ribbon of pink or mauve gentle, typically with “picket fence” columns of inexperienced gentle passing by the ribbon.Learn 7 remaining paragraphs | Feedback



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