Scientists believe they have finally figured out the strange flickering auroras up in the Earth's atmosphere.
A remarkable new study claims that strange flickering auroras up in the Earth’s atmosphere may take place high above Saturn and Jupiter as well, and their mysterious origins may have been discovered. The Northern and Southern lights, or the auroras, light up the sky with incredible hues of colors appearing as glowing ribbons in the sky.
But it was the pulsating, blinking patches of light that scientists wanted to learn more about. Previous research had indicated that these strnage pulstating auroras were caused by electromagnetic fluctuations, but scientists were not able to find a way to prove this model.
However, this new study allows researchers to provide direct evidence of what causese these pulstating auroras. And they were able to do so with data from the Arase spacecraft, which Japana launched back in 2016.
“Auroral substorms … are caused by global reconfiguration in the magnetosphere, which releases stored solar wind energy,” writes Satoshi Kasahara, an associate professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Science at the Graduate School of Science of the University of Tokyo in Japan, the lead author of the paper. “They are characterized by auroral brightening from dusk to midnight, followed by violent motions of distinct auroral arcs that eventually break up, and emerge as diffuse, pulsating auroral patches at dawn.”