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Pulsating Aurora Mysteries Uncovered with Help from NASA’s THEMIS Mission 5nvklj





Pulsating Aurora Mysteries Uncovered with Help from NASA’s THEMIS Mission 9tpt39

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Pulsating Aurora Mysteries Uncovered with Help from NASA’s THEMIS Mission

Dragon
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Post by Dragon Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:27 pm

Sometimes on a dark night near the poles, the sky pulses a diffuse glow of green, purple and red. Unlike the long, shimmering veils of typical auroral displays, these pulsating auroras are much dimmer and less common. While scientists have long known auroras to be associated with solar activity, the precise mechanism of pulsating auroras was unknown. Now, new research, using data from NASA’s Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms — or THEMIS — mission and Japan’s Exploration of energization and Radiation in Geospace — shortened to ERG, or also known as Arase — satellite, has finally captured the missing link thought responsible for these auroras. The answer lies in chirping waves that rhythmically pulse the particles that create the auroras.

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Dragon
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Post by Dragon Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:29 pm

Pulsating Aurora Mysteries Uncovered with Help from NASA’s THEMIS Mission 728501main_themis-magnetosphere
Credits: NASA

Illustration of three THEMIS satellites and Earth's magnetosphere.

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Post by Dragon Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:30 pm

Pulsating Aurora Mysteries Uncovered with Help from NASA’s THEMIS Mission B5f0ff0e8debcb478993d26ed62463f4
Credits: ISAS/JAXA

Illustration of the ERG satellite in orbit

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Dragon
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Post by Dragon Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:31 pm



Substorms produce dynamic changes in the auroral displays seen near Earth's northern and southern magnetic poles, causing an especially energetic burst of light and movement in the Northern and Southern Lights. These changes transform auroral displays into auroral eruptions.

 
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Post by Dragon Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:32 pm



THEMIS observations confirm for the first time that magnetic reconnection in the magnetotail triggers the onset of substorms. Substorms are the sudden violent eruptions of space weather that release solar energy trapped in the Earth's magnetic field.

 

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