Image of IMAGE in space

Dynamics of Aurora Simultaneously Studied at North and South Poles


For the first time, the entire sequence of an auroral storm has been studied simultaneously over both hemispheres, yielding information that might help scientists issue warnings about potentially harmful storms. IMAGE and Polar satellite data allow both regions to be studied at the same time. Surprising differences were discovered in the shapes and detailed features with the auroral ovals over the north and south polar regions.

(2001: Reiff, Frey, Mende, Sigwarth, Frank)

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Additional Information

Auroral Oval -From space the northern and southern lights can be seen as an oval of light that is centered on the magnetic north and south poles. This geometry arises from the shape of Earth's magnetic field and the changes that occur during solar storms as they disturb Earth's field.

Aurora -The lights often seen in the northern skies at night, which take the form of green, red or bluish clouds or curtains of light. Northern people have watched these in wonder for centuries. They are produced by currents of charged particles from distant regions of the magnetic field.

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Rev. 1.0.0, 24 April 2003, EVB II