The Northern lights has long fascinates the audience and the experts. But most surprising, perhaps, is that there are several different kinds of atmospheric phenomena. So, on January 29 the University of Helsinki announced that a group of Amateur astronomers has discovered a new form of Northern lights, called “dune”. This form of oxygen atoms, which Shine from the stream of charged particles coming from the Sun, at a height of about one hundred kilometers. Externally, the glow is really reminiscent of waves or sand dunes. Work can be found in the journal AGU Advances.
What is Northern lights?
Northern or polar lights are called atmospheric phenomenon that occurs at the moment when the charged particles — such as electrons — are emitted by the Sun and head to the poles of the Earth magnetic field of our planet. There, they interact with gases in the atmosphere, including oxygen and nitrogen, increasing the energy of these gases. This energy is subsequently manifested in the form of light. Professor of computational physics of the cosmos at the University of Helsinki Minna Palmroth reported to the Guardian that the Northern lights, in fact, are heavenly neon lamps.
The work of Amateur astronomers who have discovered a new form of this atmospheric phenomenon, scientists call a surprising discovery. The fact that he is quite high — about a hundred kilometers — and this area in the past, almost did not examine for the reason that to observe the plot, which separates electrically neutral part of the atmosphere from the ionosphere is not easy. The distance between waves, as estimated by researchers is around 45 kilometers. The entire “dune” was recorded 7 times.
How did “dune”?
According to Almroth, “dunes” formed on the analogy of ripples on water, when we throw a stone into a pond. The green glow appears because of the heterogeneity in the distribution of oxygen atoms in the mesosphere, which causes disturbance of the atmosphere. In the atmosphere, however, the waves often move vertically up — and lots of them. Moreover, waves of different frequency, length and amplitude, so the observation of something very uniform, for example, of the dunes means that there must be some active mechanism that can make them so. This mechanism may be of mesospheric channel, in which a particular wave is filtered out and bends, allowing it to move horizontally between the two layers in the atmosphere.