A still image with aurora in the background shows the mauve arc and green "picket fence" features of STEVE

Aurora-Chasing Citizen Scientists Help Discover A New Feature of STEVE

The plucky subauroral phenomenon STEVE (Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement) has struck again! Teamwork between citizen scientists and scientists Joshua Semeter, Michael Hunnekuhl, Elizabeth MacDonald, Michael Hirsch, Neil Zeller, Alexei Chernenkoff, and Jun Wang, has led to new information and new mysteries about features in STEVE’s dapper green picket fence structure. The team’s work—which includes[…]

Listening and Learning Recap

After our first anti-racism meeting in support of #Strike4BlackLives, the Aurorasaurus team has been holding monthly meetings alongside members of the aurora science and citizen science communities on further action items to hold ourselves accountable. If you are interested in joining us for future meetings, please let us know at aurorasaurus.info@gmail.com. In this post, Liz[…]

A colorful photo of a flat landscape shows faint green and red aurora pillars

Sharing the story: Aurorasaurus Intern Vince

My backstory with the Aurora and Aurorasaurus The moment I saw my first aurora is forever ingrained in my memory.  The Halloween Storms of 2003 left the night skies above my Minnesota house dancing with green and purple lights, and seeing them at four years old as I walked down my neighborhood street, trick-or-treating with[…]

An animation shows how the center slices of each moment in a moving all-sky camera are placed next to each other to create a keogram

Eyes on the Aurora, Part 2: What is a Keogram?

Guest post by Aurorasaurus Ambassador Jeremy Kuzub This article is the second of three about how researchers and citizen scientists record and explore years of auroral activity using all-sky cameras, keograms, and software visualizations. The first post is available here.  Looking Up The first step in aurora borealis research is just looking up at the night[…]

June 23, 2020

Another Lively Season of Night-Shining Clouds

by Kasha Patel Reposted from NASA Earth Observatory  Every summer in the Northern Hemisphere, electric blue streaks form high in the atmosphere. These seasonal clouds typically lurk about 80 kilometers (50 miles) overhead in the mesosphere around the Arctic, but every once in a while they form at lower latitudes. In 2019, the clouds showed up in places where[…]

Two women hold up an award and plates of aurora and STEVE hummus

Nerdy Science Recipes for Your Next Party!

Each year, Goddard Space Flight Center holds a collegial poster party for scientists and engineers to showcase their ongoing research. One of the award categories is “Best Science as Food.” What better opportunity to try ideas for hands-on education? Aurorasaurus and our colleagues Dr. Anne-Marie Novo-Gradac and Dr. Kevin Novo-Gradac decided to represent the Heliophysics department by coming up[…]

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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.