The Auroral Heart

The auroras in the Earth’s atmosphere are partially driven by the solar wind, a stream of energetic particles and magnetic energy, interacting with the terrestrial magnetic field. This interaction can inject particles into the inner parts of our magnetic system, where they can affect satellites, but also create auroras.

This false-colour image, looking down at the aurora around the Northern hemisphere magnetic pole, shows a heart-shaped aurora, a rare phenomenon where the aurora near noon is created by particles coming from the solar wind.

By assessing auroral dynamics, we can study the coupling between the two systems.

Picture thanks to: NASA Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration (IMAGE) team

Maria-Theresia Walach Physics and Astronomy

Maria Theresia Walach

The Auroral Heart

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