Watch Aurora As Seen By Satellite

Posted: Mar 22 2018, 3:48pm CDT | by , Updated: Mar 22 2018, 3:53pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News

 
Watch Aurora as Seen by Satellite
Credit: ESA

The data will further improve our understanding of Earth's magnetic field and the phenomenon called Northern lights

European Space Agency has released a video of Northern lights shot in space and it looks quite phenomenal.

The video is the result of collaboration between ESA and Canada’s space agency and is captured by an instrument package called e-POP attached to Canada’s Cassiope satellite. e-POP or Enhanced Polar Outflow Probe collects data on space weather and plasma flow and complements the observations of ESA’s three identical satellites from Swarm mission. Launched in 2013, Swarm mission is designed to study near-Earth environment, Earth's magnetic field and its components.

“This is a textbook example of how virtual constellations and collaborative initiatives can be realized, even deep into the missions’ exploitation phases,” said Josef Aschbacher, ESA’s Director of Earth Observation Programmes.

“We embrace the opportunity to include e-POP in the Swarm mission, especially because it is clear that the more data we get, the better the picture we have of complex space weather dynamics.

Northern lights themselves are stunning, colorful display of light. The instrument, however, captures a black-and-white footage of them while staying miles above from Earth and shows how Northern lights emerge in the sky.

Northern lights, also known as Aurora Borealis are created when high energy particles from the Sun collide with Earth's magnetic field and produce a natural light show. The Northern lights are frequently witnessed from places like Alaska, Canada, Norway and Iceland, but there is still much that's unknown about the phenomenon and the processes involved in it.

Observations from both missions, as opposed to separate typically used, can help researchers paint a better picture of how Earth’s magnetic field functions and interacts with energetic particles in space. Changes in space weather can disturb the Earth’s magnetic field and have devastating impacts on radio communications, GPS systems and satellite operations.

“By integrating e-POP into the Swarm constellation, the international scientific community will be able to pursue a host of new scientific investigations into magnetosphere–ionosphere coupling, including Earth’s magnetic field and related current systems, upper-atmospheric dynamics and aurora dynamics.” Andrew Yau from the University of Calgary said.

John Manuel from the Canadian Space Agency considers it an opportunity to unravel the mysteries of Earth's magnetic field. “Together, they will further improve our understanding of Earth's magnetic field and role it plays in shielding Canada and the world from the effects of space weather.”

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/47" rel="author">Hira Bashir</a>
The latest discoveries in science are the passion of Hira Bashir (). With years of experience, she is able to spot the most interesting new achievements of scientists around the world and cover them in easy to understand reporting.

 

 

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