News | Published:

The Auroral Spectrum and the Upper Atmosphere

Nature volume 113, pages 716717 (17 May 1924) | Download Citation

Subjects

Abstract

THE aurora borealis is produced by the action of electric radiation from outer space upon the upper atmosphere. Height measurements have shown that such radiation usually penetrates to a height of 100-105 km. Most auroral forms have their maximum light intensity at a height of 10-20 km. from the bottom edge, and by far the greater part of the light emitted from the aurora comes from a height interval of 100-130 km. The upper limit varies very much. Usually we can only follow an aurora up to an altitude of 130-150 km., but the ray-forms may be seen much higher. The greatest altitude at which isolated auroral “rays” may appear seems to increase towards lower latitudes. Near the auroral zone no rays are observed higher than 300-350 km. At Christiania, however, Stormer finds that isolated rays may reach altitudes of 750 km.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. University of Christiania.

    • L. VEGARD

Authors

  1. Search for L. VEGARD in:

About this article

Publication history

Published

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/113716a0

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

Newsletter Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing