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.

Auroral Beads

Which processes in space cause these mysterious auroral beads?

This post is written by Aurorasaurus guest blogger Nadine Kalmoni, a PhD student at Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London in the UK. The first time I saw this incredible image of the aurora (Figure 1) was just before Christmas of 2015 as a twitter post by a member of the public. I remember thinking, “Wow!” Photos and[…]

A pegboard with wooden dowels, an LED tea light, and a can lid (weighted with pennies covered by black duct tape and wrapped with foil). Note construction can be much improved.

Make Your Own Aurora

This post is available for re-posting on MAKER blogs. Please contact us at to let us know. This post will share with you a new educational Maker idea for a hands-on fun aurora demonstration… but first, the motivation. Over 300,000 people attended the 2016 USA Science and Engineering festival in Washington, D.C. in April![…]


Types of Aurora

Surveying auroral emissions is a bit like looking at a giant television screen; the picture can help scientists figure out what is happening with energetic particles, and electromagnetic fields, from just above the Earth to far out in surrounding space. et’s talk about the space around our planet and some types of aurora.


A new look at the Earth’s sky through the eyes of a radio telescope

Radio astronomers are gearing up for a new generation of radio telescopes that will be based on radically new design concepts: a wide field of view and a high-fidelity snapshot capability. One such instrument is the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA), a radio telescope in the Australian outback. If such an instrument were to be built at high latitudes, it could provide a radio telescope’s view of auroral activity that could be used to forge a better understanding of what happens to plasma near the Earth during an auroral display.