GeoLog

Aurora

Imaggeo on Mondays: The Tempest

Imaggeo on Mondays: The Tempest

Measuring the aurora. This picture was taken while doing an optical/radar coordinated campaign in Svalbard, Norway, near the settlement of Longyearbyen. In this campaign, we were measuring for the first time the polarisation of the auroral ‘red line’ of atomic oxygen with a photopolarimeter and were running the radars in order to have a better understanding of the state of the ionosphe ...[Read More]

Imaggeo on Mondays: How do Earth’s Northern Lights form?

Imaggeo on Mondays: How do Earth’s Northern Lights form?

Aurora Borealis, which means Northern Lights are caused by electrically charged particles from the sun, which enter the Earth’s atmosphere and collide with gases such as oxygen and nitrogen. When the charged particles are blown towards the Earth by the solar wind, they are largely deflected by the Earth’s magnetic field. However, the Earth’s magnetic field is weaker at the poles and therefore some ...[Read More]

Imaggeo on Mondays: Magnetic interaction

Imaggeo on Mondays: Magnetic interaction

Space weather is a ubiquitous, but little known, natural hazard. Though not as tangible as a volcanic eruption, storm or tsunami wave, space weather has the potenital to cause huge economic losses across the globe. In Europe alone, the interaction of solar wind with our planet’s magnetosphere, ionosphere and thermosphere, could lead to disrutions to space-based telecommunications, broadcasti ...[Read More]

Geosciences column: Making aurora photos taken by ISS astronauts useful for research

Geosciences column: Making aurora photos taken by ISS astronauts useful for research

It’s a clear night, much like any other, except that billions of kilometers away the Sun has gone into overdrive and (hours earlier) hurled a mass of charged particles, including protons, electrons and atoms towards the Earth.  As the electrons slam into the upper reaches of the atmosphere, the night sky explodes into a spectacular display of dancing lights: aurora. Aurora remain shrouded in myste ...[Read More]