NASA eClips: Aurora: Why the exist and what causes them
This NASA video segment explores the phenomenon of the polar aurora, called the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) in the Northern hemisphere. Scientists have been investigating them for nearly 200 years. With the help of satellite measurements we now have a very detailed understanding of what they are and how they are produced.
This video will introduce the THEMIS satelite constellation, launched in 2005. Its five satellites were placed in specific orbits to track the events that lead from the arrival of a solar storm, to the first glimpses of the Northern Lights.
Related Mathematics Problems
These problems provide a mathematical introduction to some of the issues related to solar activity and space weather
Problem 11: The Height of an Aurora Students use simple geometry to deduce the height of an aurora above ground [Download PDF]
Problem 22: The North and South Magnetic Poles Students use satellite images of the polar aurora to determine the location of the north and sount magnetic poles.[Download PDF]