A diagram shows the sun and the Earth's magnetic field with three axes: Bx, By, and Bz.

Laura Learns Aurora: The Buzz on Bz

Laura here! I am an aurora enthusiast, but new to the science side. Fortunately, the Aurorasaurus blog and website are full of great resources that I’ll be sharing out as I cultivate my knowledge.  This week: what is Bz (pronounced “bee-zee”)? It sounds complicated but this post by former intern Sean McCloat makes it clearer.[…]

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[…]

A landscape with a sky crossed by green and purple bands of aurora, along with other sky phenomena: STEVE, the ISS, and Comet NEOWISE.

A Frenzy of Sky Phenomena: Reflections on a Once-in-a-Lifetime Chase

In the early morning hours of July 13, a slow-moving coronal mass ejection from the Sun arrived early on its journey to Earth. That afternoon, word spread across social media in Europe, Canada, and the US: there might be aurora tonight. No one knew, however, whether it would last long enough for this part of Earth[…]

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[…]

A computer-generated tent glows in a snowy forest, underneath fisheye video capture of the Northern Lights.

Exploring Aurora from Home

Aurora citizen science often involves gazing at the sky outdoors, but there is a lot of learning and citizen science that can be done from home! In this post, we have compiled some resources for families, students, and aurora enthusiasts. Best of all, we are here for you if you have questions on this material—tweet[…]

A man smiles for a brightly-colored portrait.

In Spring, the Aurorasaurus Reawakens!

In Spring, the Aurorasaurus Reawakens! During Solar Minimum, even Aurorasauruses hibernate a little. But with new funding, Aurorasaurus is coming back with an update! Over the next months, you’ll see updates to our website and tools. This status update is current as of May 1, 2020.  Behind the Scenes The mastermind behind this revitalization is[…]

A black and white photo with slightly blurry stars and a pale, diagonal smear angling to the left over a rooftop is labeled "Carl Størmer's team, 1933. Geofysiske Publiskasjoner." Beneath it, a very similar, but colorful image of STEVE over a mountain is labeled "Hannahbella Nel, 2017."

When Størmer Met STEVE

A summary of a groundbreaking new paper by Dr. Michael Hunnekuhl and Dr. Liz MacDonald, published in Space Weather with open access: “Early Ground-Based Work by Auroral Pioneer Carl Størmer on the High Altitude Detached Subauroral Arcs now known as STEVE.”  In 2018, STEVE took the world by (solar) storm. The quirky little subauroral arc[…]