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Space physics

Rhythms of the auroral dance

Earlier this year, the four satellites of the Cluster mission passed through part of the electric circuit that causes aurorae. Their observations support the view that intense aurorae form in regions largely devoid of electrons.

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Figure 1: Auroral displays seen from space and (inset) from Earth.

(Main image courtesy of B. Mauk, JHU/APL.)

Figure 2: The auroral circuit.


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Correspondence to Patrick T. Newell.

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T. Newell, P. Rhythms of the auroral dance. Nature 414, 700–701 (2001).

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