Night-time view of Aurora

Nov 06, 2012
Credit: NASA/Suomi NPP

(Phys.org)—Overnight on October 4-5, 2012, a mass of energetic particles from the atmosphere of the Sun were flung out into space, a phenomenon known as a coronal mass ejection. Three days later, the storm from the Sun stirred up the magnetic field around Earth and produced gorgeous displays of northern lights. NASA satellites track such storms from their origin to their crossing of interplanetary space to their arrival in the atmosphere of Earth.

Using the "day-night band" (DNB) of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) satellite acquired this view of the early on the morning of October 8, 2012. The northern lights stretch across Canada's Quebec and Ontario provinces in the image.

Auroras typically occur when solar flares and coronal —or even an active solar wind stream—disturb and distort the magnetosphere, the cocoon of space protected by Earth's magnetic field. The collision of solar particles and pressure into our planet's magnetosphere accelerates particles trapped in the space around Earth (such as in the radiation belts). Those particles are sent crashing down into Earth's upper atmosphere—at altitudes of 100 to 400 kilometers (60 to 250 miles)—where they excite oxygen and nitrogen molecules and release photons of light. The results are rays, sheets, and curtains of dancing light in the sky.

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User comments : 6

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cantdrive85
1 / 5 (3) Nov 06, 2012
The arc and wave-like appearance of the aurora are a characteristic of plasma behavior. This phenomenon can be seen in the atmosphere of most of the planets, such as Uranus.
http://phys.org/n...cus.html
yyz
3 / 5 (2) Nov 06, 2012
CD85,

The story you linked to is looking at cloud phenomena high in the Uranian atmosphere, not aurora. While spacecraft have detected aurora at Uranus, it is quite a bit less intense than that observed at Jupiter or Saturn. In fact, the first observation of aurora at Uranus from Earth was made earlier this year by the Hubble Space Telescope: http://www.agu.or...19.shtml
cantdrive85
1 / 5 (2) Nov 06, 2012
In my haste the point was skewed, what I should have said is that arc and wave like characteristics of plasma can be seen in the aurora as well as the atmospheres of most of the planets. It's the electrical nature of the phenomenon I was pointing to.
VendicarD
not rated yet Nov 06, 2012
GSwift7
5 / 5 (1) Nov 07, 2012
It's the electrical nature of the phenomenon I was pointing to.


Mainstream science does not dispute the electric nature of aurora. The electric properties you talk about so often are well-known and and accepted by mainstream science AT SCALES OF SOLAR SYSTEM OR SMALLER. It's only when the plasma cosmology/electric universe/ etc. people try to extrapolate those processes to larger scales that mainstream science discards the ideas. We can, and do observe electromagnetic processes on solar system scales. We can, but do not observe those processes at interstellar or galactic scales. They just ARE NOT THERE. We understand those things fairly well. You should read up on it from more reputable sources and gain a better understanding of the fundamentals. It's actually a lot more interesting than your psudo-science plasma cosmology. REALITY F.T.W!
cantdrive85
1 / 5 (3) Nov 07, 2012
AT SCALES OF SOLAR SYSTEM OR SMALLER.


To accept your POV, we must ignore much of what we observe.
http://www.thunde...-barrel/
http://www.thunde...tick.htm
http://www.thunde...rtex.htm
The list goes on and on and on and...
There is a saying that says if it looks like a duck and quacks...
Opponents of EUT and PC claim that using such analogy doesn't apply to space and laboratory plasma, while at the same time standard theorists constantly use this reasoning in their own research.
http://physicswor...ke-boson
If it looks like a duck for particle physicists, we also need to apply the same reasoning for plasma physicists and electrical theorists alike. Discovery cannot have one set of tools available to some and disallowed.