By Michelle Tebolt, summer intern 2017 Above our heads, the aurora provides one of the biggest and best light shows on Earth. The light moves about, flashes across the sky, similar to some of the types of man-made lights we are familiar with. However, this light show isn’t to set the mood for a party. It[…]
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.
Fidget spinners are the latest fad toy and new student favorite, but did you know they can explain a total solar eclipse? Aurorasaurus founder Liz MacDonald explains how fidget spinners can be used to talk about physics concepts and orbital mechanics for kinesthetic learners.
What are those dark spots on the sun? Coronal holes! In this post, guest blogger Michael Kirk explains what a coronal hole is and tells us about current and upcoming research into the field.
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[…]
This post is available for re-posting on MAKER blogs. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org 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![…]
Sprites are not too unlike auroras. Both are visually magnificent natural phenomena that can send shivers down your spine when you see them. In this blog post, Aurorasaurus member Burcu Kosar talks about the emerging field of study of sprites.
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.
Aurorasaurus intern Sean McCloat explains what he learned by attending an rigorous Space Weather Bootcamp at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
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.