Latest Aurora Stories

Geotail Mission Celebrates 20th Anniversary
2012-07-28 08:59:52

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Twenty years ago, the United States relationship with Japan showed just how restored it was since the second world war, as the two countries' space agencies launched a joint mission together. The Geotail mission launched into space aboard a Delta II launch vehicle 20 years ago from this week, kick-starting a set of coordinated missions known as the International Solar Terrestrial Physics (ISTP) project. ISTP studied the magnetic...

Great Idea Had by The Sun
2012-07-23 16:10:30

A light bulb-shaped eruption leaps from the Sun and blasts into space in this archival image from the ESA/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, SOHO. SOHO captured the scene on 27 February 2000, watching as a large filament rose from the Sun´s broiling atmosphere and evolved into the coronal mass ejection loop seen here. A coronal mass ejection — or CME — is a huge cloud of magnetised plasma ejected from the Sun´s atmosphere — the corona — and...

Tiny 'Firefly' Satellite Used To Flash Straight Into Lightning and Thunderstorms
2012-07-20 15:50:45

'CubeSat' will help solve mysteries of terrestrial gamma ray flashes, 1,000 times more powerful than 'northern lights' Imagine a fully-instrumented satellite the size of a half-gallon milk carton. Then imagine that milk carton whirling in space, catching never-before-seen glimpses of processes thought to be linked to lightning. The little satellite that could is a CubeSat called Firefly, and it's on a countdown to launch next year. CubeSats, named for the roughly four-inch-cubed...

Aurora Australis Glowing Over Concordia Station
2012-07-20 15:27:23

A stunning image showing Aurora Australis — the Southern Lights — glowing over Concordia station in the Antarctic, one of the remotest places on Earth, on 18 July 2012. It was taken by ESA-sponsored scientist Alexander Kumar and his colleague Erick Bondoux from about 1 km from the station, located in the Antarctic at 75°S latitude. The French—Italian Concordia station's programme of research includes glaciology, human biology and the atmosphere. ESA uses the base to...

Latest Aurora Reference Libraries

2013-03-16 00:00:00

Hannes Olof Gösta Alfvén (May 30, 1908 - April 2, 1995) was a Swedish plasma physicist born in Norrköping, Sweden. Alfvén received his PhD from the University of Uppsala in 1934. His thesis was titled "Investigations of the Ultra-short Electromagnetic Waves." He was originally trained as an electrical power engineer and later moved on to research and teaching in the fields of plasma physics. Alfvén made many contributions to plasma physics, including theories describing the...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Aurora -- The Polar Aurora are natural displays of light in the sky that can be seen with the unaided eye only at night. An auroral display in the Northern Hemisphere is called the aurora borealis, or the northern lights; in the Southern Hemisphere it is called the aurora australis. Auroras are the most visible effect of the sun's activity on the earth's atmosphere. The beautiful and often eerie curtains of light in the night time sky have been observed by people for millennia. An aurora...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Van Allen Radiation Belt -- The Van Allen radiation belt is a torus of energetic charged particles around Earth, trapped by Earth's magnetic field. The presence of a radiation belt had been theorized prior to the Space Age and the belt's presence was confirmed by the Explorer I on January 31, 1958 and Explorer III missions, under Doctor James Van Allen. The trapped radiation was first mapped out by Explorer IV and Pioneer III. Qualitatively, it is useful to view this belt as consisting...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Solar Wind -- Solar wind, a stream of particles (mostly high-energy protons ~ 500 Kev) that is continually ejected from the surface of the Sun. The composition of this plasma is identical to the Sun's corona, 73% hydrogen and 25% helium with the remainder as trace impurities, and is ionized. Near Earth, the velocity of the solar wind varies from 200km/s-889km/s. The average is 450 km/s. Approximately 3000 tons of material is lost from the Sun every hour as solar wind. Since solar...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Solar Flare -- A solar flare is a violent eruption that explodes from a star's photosphere with energies equivalent to tens of millions of hydrogen bombs. Solar flares from the Sun send out a streams of highly energetic solar wind that can present a radiation hazard to spacecraft outside of planetary magnetospheres and can disrupt radio signals on Earth. Solar flares were first observed on the Sun in 1859 by English astronomer Richard Carrington. They have also been observed to...

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Word of the Day
  • A fudgelike confection of brown sugar, cream or milk, and chopped nuts.
'Penuche' is a variant of 'panocha,' a coarse grade of sugar made in Mexico. 'Panocha' probably comes from the Spanish 'panoja, panocha,' ear of grain.