Aurora

Aurora is a shifting pattern of light emitted from atoms and molecules in the atmosphere after they have been ionized by collisions with charged particles from the sun. The radiation can be seen with the naked eye, most notably at the polar regions where the Earth’s magnetic field focusses most of the solar particles.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research |

    An intensification of the 7.8-µm methane emission at Jupiter’s poles is observed in coincidence with the arrival of a solar-wind compression in January 2017, highlighting the strong coupling between Jupiter’s magnetosphere and its neutral stratosphere.

    • J. A. Sinclair
    • , G. S. Orton
    • , J. Fernandes
    • , Y. Kasaba
    • , T. M. Sato
    • , T. Fujiyoshi
    • , C. Tao
    • , M. F. Vogt
    • , D. Grodent
    • , B. Bonfond
    • , J. I. Moses
    • , T. K. Greathouse
    • , W. Dunn
    • , R. S. Giles
    • , F. Tabataba-Vakili
    • , L. N. Fletcher
    •  & P. G. J. Irwin
  • Research | | open

    Electron precipitation plays major role in magnetospheric physics and space weather. Here the authors show nonlinear behavior of the wave–particle interaction in the magnetosphere as the evolution of chorus electromagnetic waves detected by the Arase satellite and PWING observatory.

    • Mitsunori Ozaki
    • , Yoshizumi Miyoshi
    • , Kazuo Shiokawa
    • , Keisuke Hosokawa
    • , Shin-ichiro Oyama
    • , Ryuho Kataoka
    • , Yusuke Ebihara
    • , Yasunobu Ogawa
    • , Yoshiya Kasahara
    • , Satoshi Yagitani
    • , Yasumasa Kasaba
    • , Atsushi Kumamoto
    • , Fuminori Tsuchiya
    • , Shoya Matsuda
    • , Yuto Katoh
    • , Mitsuru Hikishima
    • , Satoshi Kurita
    • , Yuichi Otsuka
    • , Robert C. Moore
    • , Yoshimasa Tanaka
    • , Masahito Nosé
    • , Tsutomu Nagatsuma
    • , Nozomu Nishitani
    • , Akira Kadokura
    • , Martin Connors
    • , Takumi Inoue
    • , Ayako Matsuoka
    •  & Iku Shinohara
  • Research | | open

    The origin of geomagnetic substorms is still uncertain due to lack of comprehensive quantitative analyses. Here, the authors construct an observational dispersion relation of auroral forms that correspond to the explosive energy release from substorm onset.

    • N. M. E. Kalmoni
    • , I. J. Rae
    • , C. E. J. Watt
    • , K. R. Murphy
    • , M. Samara
    • , R. G. Michell
    • , G. Grubbs
    •  & C. Forsyth
  • Research |

    The MAVEN spacecraft observed brightening in the Lyman-α line correlated with solar wind activity, which can be attributed to auroral activity by solar wind protons interacting with the Martian neutral hydrogen corona. Proton aurorae are normally seen at Earth only.

    • J. Deighan
    • , S. K. Jain
    • , M. S. Chaffin
    • , X. Fang
    • , J. S. Halekas
    • , J. T. Clarke
    • , N. M. Schneider
    • , A. I. F. Stewart
    • , J.-Y. Chaufray
    • , J. S. Evans
    • , M. H. Stevens
    • , M. Mayyasi
    • , A. Stiepen
    • , M. Crismani
    • , W. E. McClintock
    • , G. M. Holsclaw
    • , D. Y. Lo
    • , F. Montmessin
    • , F. Lefèvre
    •  & B. M. Jakosky
    Nature Astronomy 2, 802-807
  • Research |

    A dark, ribbon-like structure at Jupiter’s magnetic equator marks a depletion of ionospheric H3+ caused by a lack of photoelectrons. These photoelectrons, which collide with molecular hydrogen to form H3+, are deviated away by magnetic field lines.

    • Tom S. Stallard
    • , Angeline G. Burrell
    • , Henrik Melin
    • , Leigh N. Fletcher
    • , Steve Miller
    • , Luke Moore
    • , James O’Donoghue
    • , John E. P. Connerney
    • , Takehiko Satoh
    •  & Rosie E. Johnson
    Nature Astronomy 2, 773-777

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    The discovery of Jupiter’s southern X-ray aurora reveals that it is tellingly different from the northern one, providing important clues to how Jupiter’s polar aurorae are generated.

    • Tom S. Stallard
    Nature Astronomy 1, 755-756
  • News and Views |

    The origin of the diffuse aurora, whose beauty and intensity pale beside those of the famous aurora borealis, has remained controversial. A convincing explanation for this auroral display is now at hand. See Letter p.943

    • Patrick T. Newell
    Nature 467, 927-928