Click For Photo: https://www.sciencedaily.com/images/2018/02/180214150052_1_540x360.jpg
The scientists published their results today in Nature.
The spectacle of these subatomic showers is legendary. Green, red, and purple waltz across the night sky, blending into one another for a fantastic show widely considered one of the great wonders of the world. Among a variety of auroras, pulsating auroral patches appearing at dawn are common but the physical mechanisms driving this auroral pulsation had so far not been verified through observation.
Advent - Satellite - Measuring - Tools - Researchers
With the advent of a new satellite with advanced measuring tools, researchers have now identified that this wonder is caused by the hard-to-detect interaction between electrons and plasma waves. This interaction takes place in the Earth's magnetosphere, the region surrounding the Earth in which the behavior of the electric particles is usually governed by the planet's magnetic field.
"Auroral substorms ... are caused by global reconfiguration in the magnetosphere, which releases stored solar wind energy," writes Satoshi Kasahara, an associate professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Science at the Graduate School of Science of the University of Tokyo in Japan, the lead author of the paper. "They are characterized by auroral brightening from dusk to midnight, followed by violent motions of distinct auroral arcs that eventually break up, and emerge as diffuse, pulsating auroral patches at dawn."
Reconfiguration - Type - Plasma - Waves - Chorus
The global reconfiguration often drives a specific type of plasma waves called chorus waves, to rain electrons into the upper atmosphere. This...
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