The Chenille Stem Magnetosphere designed by Dr. Alexa Halford provides a 3D, tactile illustration of the Earth's magnetosphere

Fuzzy, Crafty Models of Aurora Science (Literally!)

One of the challenges of learning about aurora science is that so much is invisible or abstract. Fortunately, it’s not hard to make models of some concepts out of easy-to-find materials. In this post, we walk you through two easy do-it-yourself (DIY) projects that use nothing fancier than chenille stems (also called pipecleaners), paper, markers,[…]

A pair of earrings have red, then green and blue, then a little bit of pink colors, corresponding with aurora

HelioCrafts: Aurora Color Earrings

Hi! Laura here. Over the past two years, I’ve been learning about the world of heliophysics—the science of the Sun and its relationship with the planets, which includes the auroras. Aurora science gets very abstract very quickly, so as someone without a science background I’ve found it helpful to build models of some of the[…]

A young man works on an enclosed camera that points toward the horizon

“What if North Dakota had its own aurora camera?” 

Meet the North Dakota Dual Aurora Cameras (NoDDAC)! This project is led by university student and Aurorasaurus Ambassador Vincent Ledvina in collaboration with Aurorasaurus, the University of North Dakota (UND), and LiveAuroraNetwork. Using both a north-facing and an allsky camera, NoDDAC provides aurora chasers with live views of the night sky from North Dakota. During[…]

A hand opens the 3D Printed Magnetosphere Model, revealing the internal structures

The Earth’s Magnetosphere—3D Printed!

In 2020, Aurorasaurus partnered with NASA’s STEAM Innovation Lab and NASA’s Magnetosphere Multiscale Mission (MMS) to design and create the world’s first 3D printed magnetosphere model. We have just released the beta version (1.0) and are excited for educators, Makers, Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), and the general public to beta test it on printers and[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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![…]