Aurora Definition & Meaning

Elias Loomis , and later Hermann Fritz and Sophus Tromholt in more detail, established that the aurora appeared mainly in the auroral zone. Between 2014 and 2016, cometary auroras were observed on comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko by multiple instruments on the Rosetta spacecraft. Coma observations revealed atomic emissions of hydrogen and oxygen caused by the photodissociation of water molecules in the comet’s coma. The interaction of accelerated electrons from the solar wind with gas particles in the coma is responsible for the aurora.

On rare occasions the aurora borealis can be seen further south, for example in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Scotland, Ireland, Denmark, and the northern part of the contiguous United States. Most auroras occur in a band known as the “auroral zone”, which is typically 3° to 6° wide in latitude and between 10° and 20° from the geomagnetic poles at all local times , most clearly seen at night against a dark sky. A region that currently displays an aurora is called the “auroral oval”, a band displaced by the solar wind towards the night side of Earth. Early evidence for a geomagnetic connection comes from the statistics of auroral observations.

Auroras are occasionally seen in latitudes below the auroral zone, when a geomagnetic storm temporarily enlarges the auroral oval. Large geomagnetic storms are most common during the peak of the 11-year sunspot cycle or during the three years after the peak. An electron spirals about a field line at an angle that is determined by its velocity vectors, parallel and perpendicular, respectively, to the local geomagnetic field vector B.

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  • It consists of regularly-spaced, parallel stripes of brighter emission in the green diffuse aurora which give the impression of sand dunes.
  • A geomagnetic storm causes the auroral ovals to expand, bringing the aurora to lower latitudes.

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Viereck implemented the model and developed the graphical products to run in realtime to create What is Aurora forecasts. Check out our video and blog highlighting the phenomenal growth of solar and how Aurora empowers homeowners with a new energy experience. A mid 19th-century British source says auroras were a rare occurrence before the 18th century.

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Check the aurora forecast a day or so prior to your trip and be prepared to book a tour if the forecast is isn’t great. Audio Solutions A fully networked family of professional audio products, powered via a single network cable – the ideal complement to Aurora’s IPX and VPX AV over IP solutions … Control Solutions ReAX open architecture control platform for real-time automation of controllable products. Products include standalone control processors with varying control …

Autumn is here and residents will be able to dispose of their leaves for free as part of Aurora’s Annual Leaf Collection Program from Monday, October 17 through Friday, December 2.Read on… The NASA Hubble Space Telescope took this picture of an aurora on Jupiter using ultraviolet light. At Aurora, people are at the heart of everything we do – and we’re proud to serve our patients with 16 hospitals, more than 150 clinics and 70 pharmacies in 30 communities. If they sound like yours, and you want to build technology that will change the world, let’s talk. We recently announced the expansion of our autonomous linehaul pilot with Aurora and we look forward to our continued work together as we test the integration of autonomous technology into our operations. Because we’re building the Aurora Driver to operate both trucks and passenger vehicles, advances made in either vehicle type directly benefit the other.

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The period between approximately 1645 to 1715 corresponds to the Maunder minimum in sunspot activity. The European explorer Samuel Hearne traveled with Chipewyan Dene in 1771 and recorded their views on the ed-thin (‘caribou’). According to Hearne, the Dene people saw the resemblance between an aurora and the sparks produced when caribou fur is stroked.


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Some auroral features are also created by electrons accelerated by Alfvén waves. At small wavelengths , Alfvén waves develop a significant electric field parallel to the background magnetic field; this can accelerate electrons due to a process of Landau damping. If the electrons have a speed close to that of the wave’s phase velocity, they are accelerated in a manner analogous to a surfer catching an ocean wave. This constantly-changing wave electric field can accelerate electrons along the field line, causing some of them to hit the atmosphere. Electrons accelerated by this mechanism tend to have a broad energy spectrum, in contrast to the sharply-peaked energy spectrum typical of electrons accelerated by quasi-static electric fields. Since then an extensive collection of measurements has been acquired painstakingly and with steadily improving resolution since the 1960s by many research teams using rockets and satellites to traverse the auroral zone.

Auroras also occur poleward of the auroral zone as either diffuse patches or arcs, which can be subvisual. Sunday’s event is predicted to be a G2 storm with a Kp of 6, which would make the aurora visible in northern Washington, possibly as far south as Seattle, according to a map produced by the Space Weather Prediction Center. The oldest known written record of the aurora was in a Chinese legend written around 2600 BC. Moved by this sight, Fubao became pregnant and gave birth to a son, the Emperor Xuanyuan, known legendarily as the initiator of Chinese culture and the ancestor of all Chinese people.

Since comet 67P has no magnetic field, the aurora is diffusely spread around the comet. Venus has no magnetic field and so Venusian auroras appear as bright and diffuse patches of varying shape and intensity, sometimes distributed over the full disc of the planet. A Venusian aurora originates when electrons from the solar wind collide with the night-side atmosphere.

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