The black auroras
Most people have heard of auroras - more commonly known as the Northern and Southern Lights. Less familiar are phenomena known as black auroras, dark patches which often subdivide the glowing curtains of red and green light. A recent paper studies the phenomena of these black auroras.
By analysing data collected from ESA’s Cluster satellites for almost 15 years the scientists cast light on the physical processes taking place in auroral nurseries and the secrets of how the dark "cavities" in between the shimmering auroras are created. Associate Professor Tomas Karlsson, Space and Plasma Physics gives an example of the importance of the findings.
"For example, GPS signals can be modified by changes in electron content in the ionosphere, so that their navigational and timing accuracy are significantly reduced. Improved modelling of the ionosphere is necessary to make the necessary corrections."