Friday, 19 April, 2019

Backed Aurora Experiment Adds Light Show

NASA's Glowing Aurora Research Looks Like an ‘Like an alien attack’: Norwegians baffled by peculiar cloud activity overhead (VIDEO)
Cary Marshall | 10 April, 2019, 13:34

This wasn't the only light show NASA created as the space agency also made an wonderful light show with chemical compounds that were ejected by the Auroral Zone Upwelling Rocket Experiment (AZURE).

"We saw two orange dots rise into the sky and disappear", he shared.

Auroras are spectacular light shows, but a recent display in the skies over northern Norway was out of this world - sort of.

The display was part of a NASA-funded mission called the AZURE (Auroral Zone Upwelling Rocket Experiment), to learn about the flow of particles in the ionosphere and to find out more about the contribution that an aurora makes to the amount of energy leaving and entering Earth's geospace system.

According to a statement from NASA, the AZURE is just the first of eight rocket missions set to study the interactions of Earth's magnetic fields and particles from space that bombard the planet.

On April 5, two AZURE rockets released visible gas tracers over the Norwegian Sea at 71 through 150 miles (114-241 km) altitude. But those shimmering sheets of colored lights are the product of violent collisions between Earth's atmosphere and particles from the Sun.

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These mixtures, using substances similar to those found in fireworks, created colorful clouds that allow researchers to track the flow of neutral and charged particles with the auroral wind.

The clouds were then tracked to measure the winds and flow of particles as the glowing spots dispersed.

Despite not causing any hazard, residents were definitely a little under prepared. "It looked like an alien attack". Understanding The Area Separating Earth And Outer Space AZURE is part of a larger effort called The Grand Challenge Initiative - Cusp, an worldwide collaboration of scientists that aims to study the ionosphere where the lines of the magnetic field bends and particles from Earth mixes with particles from outer space.

Unusual and colourful clouds appeared in the sky above Norway last week as scientists take one step closer to understanding the mysteries of Earth's upper-atmosphere.

AZURE is the first of eight sounding rocket missions launching over the next two years as part of an worldwide collaboration of scientists known as The Grand Challenge Initiative - Cusp.

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