Scientists Unravel Mystery of High-Latitude Theta Aurora

December 19, 2014 7:33 PM

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Scientists Unravel Mystery of High-Latitude Theta Aurora

Thanks to data collected by ESA’s Cluster spacecraft and a NASA mission called the Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration (IMAGE), scientists have solved a long-standing space mystery – the origin of a colorful display in the night sky known as the theta aurora.

Theta aurora over Antarctica. This image obtained in 1983 shows the auroral oval and a transpolar arc; the arc extends into the polar cap from local midnight, across the polar cap and joins with the auroral oval at local noon; motion of the transpolar arc in the dawn-dusk direction appears to be con...

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