Now We See Aurora Dunes in the Sky

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A New Type of Aurora Ripples Across the Sky in Horizontal Green ‘Dunes’

Auroral Dunes Time Lapse Video

By Katherine J. Wu/Smithsonianmag.com

Since time immemorial, people around the world have been beguiled by the wonders of the night sky. But even after millennia of study, the cosmos keeps hitting us with surprises. Reporting this week in AGU Advancesa team of researchers has discovered a brand new type of aurora, thanks to the help of some intrepid citizen scientists.

Described as “dunes,” the spectacular light show manifests as a series of rippling emerald ribbons that extend toward the equator. Unlike typical aurorae, which are oriented vertically like fence posts, the dunes hang horizontally like blinds in a window, giving off the appearance of hills of sand cascading across a beach.

The dunes also occur at an unusual altitude, about 60 or so miles off the Earth’s surface, in a layer of the atmosphere too high to access by balloons and too low to explore with satellites—a sort of scientific no man’s land. This strip of sky, technically known as the mesosphere, is so poorly understood that physicists jokingly dub it the “ignorosphere,” study author Minna Palmroth, a physicist at the University of Helsinki explains in a statement. But sussing out what gives the dunes their dazzling gleam might help researchers ….Read More:

 

Biography
Carol graduated from Riverside White Cross School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio and received her diploma as a registered nurse. She attended Bowling Green State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Literature. She attended the University of Toledo, College of Nursing, and received a Master’s of Nursing Science Degree as an Educator.

She has traveled extensively, is a photographer, and writes on medical issues. Carol has three children RJ, Katherine, and Stephen – two daughters-in-law; Suzy and Katie – two granddaughters; Isabella Marianna and Zoe Olivia – and one grandson, Alexander Paul. She also shares her life with husband Gordon Duff, many cats, and two rescue pups.

Carol’s Archives 2009-2013
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