A new kind of aurora has been identified in the Arctic sky by a NASA intern. Jennifer Briggs, a physics student at Pepperdine University, while looking at a 3-year-old video clip, noticed that the particular aurora made peculiar patterns against the Earth’s magnetic field.
This never-seen-before, fascinating phenomena, as pointed out by the intern, is believed to have been due to a compression in the Earth’s magnetic field, Business Insider reported.
Attempts are being made to unearth the cause that has led to the huge magnetic compression. Scientists tout this aurora to be indeed one of a kind, seen for the first time.
Speaking about its motion, Briggs stated that the eastward, westward motion, followed by a spiraling movement, causing bright colouful lights, is quite unique in this case.
The abrupt withdrawal in the Earth’s magnetic field is akin to a “massive, localized depression” that might have been caused by an unprecedented storm in the area which serves as a meeting ground for particles from the sun and Earth’s magnetic field.
Now, what caused this storm or why it made this mysterious shrink is yet to be found out.
Observed from an island in Norway, the remarkable, twisting aurora was detected spiraling at the edge of Earth’s magnetosphere passing within a span of 1 minute 45 seconds and moving towards Earth’s surface; shifting by 25000 kilometers; which is 4 times the planet’s radius. In other words, this distance is equivalent to a commercial jet’s 27 hours flight.
At times, charged particles streaming out of sun brushes against Earth’s and results in aurora. But there were no sign of solar eruptions, so far. Its impact is expected on electronic communications and GPS. If the eruption is considerably big, it might propel satellites out of orbit, disrupt power grid, risk astronauts.