A woman joyfully motions toward the sky

PANTS ON: A Newbie’s Guide to Aurora Terms

by Laura Brandt (with lots of help from Dr. Liz!) Since joining Aurorasaurus, I have learned a lot about auroras and the ways aurora chasers and scientists describe them. I’ve been taking notes and want to share my list of key terms—by a newbie, for newbies, and reviewed by a subject matter expert—as a big[…]

A graph shows a sudden upward jump in Solar Wind Power intensity

Laura Learns Aurora: I’ve Got the Power!

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.  One of these is the Space Weather Data page, a graph that shows the strength of solar wind power. In short,[…]

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[…]

Two photos show wavelike auroral "dunes"

The discovery of the auroral dunes: How one thing led to another

Guest blog post. Dr. Minna Palmroth is Professor of Computational Space Physics and the Director of the Finnish Centre of Excellence in Research of Sustainable Space at the University of Helsinki, Finland. On June 15, 2020, Dr. Palmroth gave a presentation to the Aurorasaurus Ambassadors about the discovery of dune aurora, viewable on our YouTube[…]

A man photographs aurora in the snow. The graphic has the NASA and Aurorasaurus logos, and the quote "I do citizen science with Aurorasaurus because I am fascinated by nature and all of its wonders." - Hugo Sanchez

Chasing the Northern Lights!

Guest post by Aurorasaurus Ambassador Hugo Sanchez One of the things we love about the Aurorasaurus community is the wealth and variety of experience in aurora chasing. Each chaser has unique expertise to share, and while with so many locations around the world no aurora chasing guide is one size fits all, each provides useful[…]

Students smile in a Zoom group screenshot

Asking Questions—Like Scientists!

by Aurorasaurus and Friends Last month we received a letter with some GREAT questions from a class of Manitoba 4th graders! Below we have compiled some answers, along with details and resources for teachers and caregivers to help students dive in further. For some questions, we asked our science and museum colleagues. Scientists know a lot[…]

Laura's hand (complete with fabulous aurora nail wraps) grips a device like a walkie-talkie

Ham it Up—On the Air!

Amateur Radio for Students and the General Public By Laura Brandt (museum educator), Connie Atkisson (teacher), and Liz MacDonald (scientist) Last fall, Dr. Liz and Laura got their Technician (entry-level) ham radio licenses as part of auditing a class for teachers, grad students, and undergrads on The Physics of Ham Radio taught by Rice University[…]

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[…]

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[…]