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Hearts in the Ice: Citizen Science in the Arctic

If you turn on the news for very long, you’re likely to hear about some of the changes our planet is going through. Temperatures are on the rise, glaciers are receding, precipitation patterns are changing ⁠— and many of these developments are most obvious in the polar regions.  A formidable two-woman team is heading to[…]

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An Interview with Jordan: STEVE Science Fair Winner

Jordan, an 8th grade student from Calgary, recently won the Rideau Park Science Fair with her poster on the new STEVE phenomena. Jordan tells Aurorasaurus more about her project and interest in aurora in this Q&A article. Read through to the end for some questions she asked Dr. Liz MacDonald, Aurorasaurus founder, also!

Photo by Hannah Gulick

The Ultimate Undergraduate Field School Researching Auroras and Rockets in Norway

Andøya Space Center, Andenes, Norway January 22, 2018 In January of 2018, I traveled to Andøya Space Center in Andenes, Norway, to attend a four day rocket field school. My name is Hannah Gulick, and I am a sophomore at the University of Iowa studying astronomy, physics, and creative writing. I went as one of[…]

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Mystery of Purple Lights in Sky Solved With Help From Citizen Scientists

For the first time, scientists had ground and satellite views of Steve. Scientists have now learned, despite its ordinary name, that Steve may be an extraordinary puzzle piece in painting a better picture of how Earth’s magnetic fields function and interact with charged particles in space. The findings are published in a study released today in Science Advances.

Caption:  What’s wrong with this picture?  Read on!

Debunking the aurora myth: What actually causes an aurora?

What’s wrong with this infographic? A common misconception about the aurora is that it’s formed by particles streaming straight from the sun. But that’s not the whole story. By only considering the solar wind, we leave some key questions unanswered like why do we see the aurora at night (when we’re facing away from the sun)? The answer lies in magnetic reconnection in the magnetotail.

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Science Experiments for the Public during the Solar Eclipse

By Dr. Liz MacDonald Learn more at our Twitter #citscichat with Dr. Caren Cooper (@CoopSciScoop) on Aug 17 at 4 pm ET. Participants from most of the projects highlighted here will participate. Over a century ago, American astronomer W.W. Campbell set up a 40 foot ‘Schaeberle camera’ in Jeur, India to take pictures and study[…]

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You don’t need to freeze to see aurora!

The aurora is well-known to the savvy Aurorasaurus observer – fanciful colored lights in the sky caused by charged particles energizing the atmosphere near the North and South poles. But did you know that you can observe aurora as far south as Arizona? Or that the sky still glows at night in the absence of any aurora? For the first time, a new project is capturing these rare events with affordable cameras located in high schools across the United States, also enabling space-science education.