Talk:Aurora

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Contradicting information in the lead section[edit]

In the lead section is written first "They are also referred to as polar auroras. This is a misnomer however, because they are commonly visible between 65 to 72 degrees north and south latitudes" and a little after that "with the chance of visibility increasing with proximity to the North Magnetic Pole. (The North Magnetic Pole is currently in the arctic islands of northern Canada.)" (apparently even the location of the North Magnetic Pole is not correct anymore, since accordingly with the wiki article is somewhere in Russia some 81-82 degrees north). Since both statements are unsourced, I have no idea which one is true. Can someone maybe fix the article and add some source? --Dia^ (talk) 10:14, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

I noticed the same inconsistency. I am thinking about the best way to re-word this section and will update it soon. Most aurorae are seen in a band (known as the auroral zone) which is typically 3 to 6 degrees wide in latitude and at all local times. Aurorae exist during daylight hours but are usually not seen due to the sky brightness from the Sun. The band is typically 10 to 20 degrees from the magnetic pole defined by the axis of the dipole of the Earth's magnetic field and not the dip magnetic pole. During a geomagnetic storm, the radius of the auroral zones increases. As of Jan 2005, the dipole magnetic poles were at 83° N, 170° E and 74° S, 18° E. There are sometimes visible and sub-visible aurorae in the polar regions, the regions poleward of the auroral zones. Richfj (talk) 16:54, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

Re-wrote the introduction to take care of this problem. Richfj (talk) 18:32, 23 June 2011 (UTC)

After you did, some-one rewrote it again, perhaps to clarify, but it introduced errors, saying it's 3 to 6 degrees from the geographical pole. I reverted to Richfjs version, but if it needs updating please tell me. EmilTyf (talk) 23:28, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

Alright, that some-one was me. I modified again, now it should be okay.
Original version had "typically 3° to 6° in latitudinal extent", however "latitudinal extent" naturally suggests a width extending from geographic poles. "typically 3 to 6 degrees wide in latitude" in Richfj's message is a better wording in terms of clarity, and i re-modified the line in the lead section accordingly.
By the way, equivalency that I expressed in the rewrote with "error" was also (roughly) correct (see below data), it just wiped the information on the width of the auroral zone:
Year 2014
North Geographical Pole: 90.0N - 0.0W
South Geographical Pole: 90.0S - 0.0E
North Magnetic Pole: 85.9N - 149.0W
South Magnetic Pole: 64.3S - 136.8E
North Geomagnetic Pole: 80.2N - 72.5W
South Geomagnetic Pole: 80.2S - 107.5E — Preceding unsigned comment added by 85.110.37.26 (talk) 09:21, 20 March 2014 (UTC)

Odd consideration of possible vandalism[edit]

Just a moment of consideration of the December 8, 2010 edit which added, "duck farts", to alternate names for aurora borealis. I found myself considering the possibility that "duck farts" could actually be an established idiom wherein loggers or prospectors in the Yukon or wherever, having little entertainment potential in their evenings, eventually back up to the campfire and ignite some methane. Thereafter, the green flares in their northern sky suggest Isiah's crazy antics around the fire and well, "Hey, look at that, Tobias! It's like a whole flock of ducks are up there lighting their farts at the same time!" ...Just a thought. Aerolin55 (talk) 17:26, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

An excellent thought. From now on I shall refer to the aurora exclusively by this evocative name. Will-o'-the-wisps, which really are the ignition of gases, I shall call "plant farts". AtticusX (talk) 22:40, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

I just wanted to say; this is the best discussion I've read on any talk page. I, too, will be calling them duck/plant farts. Long live the name! Akebai (talk) 13:30, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

Vandalism injection[edit]

Someone has vandalised the page generation script or something so that it inserts

<ol> <li>REDIRECT <a href="/wiki/Penis" title="Penis"\>Penis</a></li></ol>

at the top of the body. The vandalism is not in the source but a related edit was recently reverted. This was clearly an attempt to re-add the #REDIRECT in a more revert-proof way after it was reverted. I don't know if it is for everyone or just some people. I don't know enough to say how this was done; maybe someone more knowledgable can figure it out and fix it. I've seen this kind of thing (vandalism injection) before but I don't know where to bring it up except the pages I see it on.— Preceding unsigned comment added by 142.232.243.53 (talkcontribs)

Currently there is no vandalism. Ruslik_Zero 19:28, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

Aurora borealis accompanied by sound[edit]

When in Saskatoon in October 2002 'n had the wonderful privilege to witness two hours of the Northern Lights. Being from South Africa that is real special. I am sure that I heard a strange noise - unearthly, difficult to describe - coinciding with the spectacle. Was that my imagination, or has anybody else also heard such noises? jannie du toit, Melville, Johannesburg, agterplaas@icon.co.za —Preceding unsigned comment added by 196.210.36.63 (talk) 17:42, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

Auroral sounds appear to exist, but no mechanism for their generation is known. People with no previous experience with aurorae often report them, and they are found internationally and in in the historical record. Some evidence exists, see this for example. --vuo (talk) 23:46, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
I've read the same thing. But I don't have a good source though. Lastitem (talk) 00:28, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
http://www.aalto.fi/en/current//news/view/2012-07-09/ clip of sound and study
added section on aurora sounds Yes check.svg Done Sidelight12 (talk) 04:46, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

Traditional and popular culture[edit]

This section contains a couple of references to traditional culture but none to popular culture. Aurorae appear in Philip Pullman's novel series His Dark Materials (as a major plot point) and in the computer role-playing-game The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim". I could insert a short reference to that effect? ▫ Urbane Legend chinwag 22:55, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

If you provide a source (like a game reveiw commenting on the aurorae) then that would be a great addition. He's Gone Mental 14:58, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

Information[edit]

i think they should have more info kids understand. 79.71.84.215 (talk) 18:25, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

File:Aurora Australis From ISS.JPG to appear as POTD soon[edit]

Hello! This is a note to let the editors of this article know that File:Aurora Australis From ISS.JPG will be appearing as picture of the day on February 5, 2012. You can view and edit the POTD blurb at Template:POTD/2012-02-05. If this article needs any attention or maintenance, it would be preferable if that could be done before its appearance on the Main Page so Wikipedia doesn't look bad. :) Thanks! howcheng {chat} 09:41, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

Picture of the day
Aurora australis from space

The aurora australis, as seen from the International Space Station. Aurorae are natural light displays in the sky caused by the collision of energetic charged particles with atoms in the high altitude thermosphere. The particles originate in the magnetosphere and solar wind and, on Earth, are directed by Earth's magnetic field into the atmosphere.

Photo: NASA/ISS Expedition 23 crew
ArchiveMore featured pictures...


Image use--too many images?[edit]

Such as this one.

Throughout the article, many images are used that would, individually help the article, but together, they seem to be quite repetitive, and although they are all nice pictures, should some be taken out? I am not an expert on the topic, so I do not know exactly which ones should be removed, but I think it would make the article much cleaner and easier to read.14jbella (talk) 02:58, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

Also, would it be possible to replace these images with a poster? -->
Help verifying copyright information for this would also be greatly appreciated. Thanks.14jbella (talk) 03:20, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
Copyright data found--Thank you User:Future Perfect at Sunrise. I will add this poster, but if others disagree with the use of it, I will be happy to remove it. 14jbella (talk) 12:17, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

Current images are great, including the rare colors. Charles Edwin Shipp (talk) 00:20, 23 May 2014 (UTC)

Accelerated towards Earth?[edit]

The article says the ions are "accelerated toward Earth". Is this really the case? I would have to think about it a bit more. Certainly they are constantly accelerated in terms of the change in direction of their velocity, but are they accelerated in terms of change in speed? I can't see what potential energy they could lose to power an increase in kinetic energy. They have negligible magnetic moment, and electric and gravitational fields are negligible.

To me the critical effect is the convergence of magnetic field lines, which funnels solar wind ions and causes a localised increase in the frequency of collision with air atoms. -- Russell E (talk) 08:59, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

Country-specific WikiProjects?[edit]

To me it seems a too tenuous connection to the four countries that currently have their WikiProject banners added to this article's talk page. I'd like to have them removed. __meco (talk) 09:52, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

I sort of agree. Lastitem (talk) 11:08, 21 September 2012 (UTC)

New NASA picture[edit]

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=79750 — Preceding unsigned comment added by 159.121.204.129 (talk) 22:49, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

Aurora Kp maps[edit]

The two Aurora Kp maps, in the Frequency of occurrence section, have text on them that state Click anywhere on the map to see Geomagnetic Latitude at that location. Since these images were lifted from the original application and no longer functions that text should be removed from the images. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 65.215.93.238 (talk) 14:16, 20 March 2013 (UTC)

Organization of Article[edit]

There seems to be a problem with the organization of this article. The sections Solar wind and the magnetosphere, Frequency of occurrence, Origin and Sources and types have redundant or closely related material about the relationship between the auroral and solar-terrestrial physics but none of them fully capture the relationship. The Forms and magnetism section has information that is about the history of aurora instead of being related to the title of the section. These problems may be due to different inputs at different times which did not properly consider the information already in this article. I suggest a major re-write of this article. Richfj (talk) 20:31, 15 July 2011 (UTC)

I noticed this too. Lastitem (talk) 13:45, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Yes, indeed. There is a huge amount of overlap/redundancy of material in those sections. <sigh> I sure wish editors would bother to take a good look at articles before they add whole new sections. Somebody with thorough knowledge of the subject needs to merge & restructure those sections. Cgingold (talk) 10:31, 5 July 2013 (UTC)

Helps[edit]

I accidentally make a wrong edit — Preceding unsigned comment added by 202.67.46.20 (talk) 12:54, 29 November 2013 (UTC)

New video available[edit]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okNSvH20Qlo It is already highly referenced on the Net; so I thought it would be a good idea to add it here as well. It is quite recent. I know the author, he would be honored. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.191.241.48 (talk) 20:29, 20 December 2013 (UTC)

Last sentence in intro section should be deleted[edit]

Right now it is referenced with #7. Points about writing style have nothing to do with northern lights. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 199.195.148.113 (talk) 10:14, 26 January 2014 (UTC)

Move discussion in progress[edit]

There is a move discussion in progress on Talk:Aurora which affects this page. Please participate on that page and not in this talk page section. Thank you. —RMCD bot 18:43, 8 March 2014 (UTC)

Bias towards aurora visible to the naked eye[edit]

It appears the page is lacking discussion/treatment of aurora manifested in ways not easily observed by the human eye, namely:

  • Hydrogen emissions (Lyman alpha, Balmer alpha, Balmer beta, etc).
  • UV emission lines
  • Infrared emission lines
  • Radio measures of auroral precipitation, e.g. auroral kilometric radiation, riometer measurements of D-region absorption

Regarding what can be observed by humans, sunlit aurorae, which are bluish-purplish tall rays owing to resonant scattering of sunlight, are not mentioned. No phenomenology of the dayside aurora is mentioned.

Considering the page does discuss the sound that the aurora creates, a topic of debate in the aeronomy / space physics community, one would hope that the above optical/radio phenomena, which are more conclusively observed and understood, should be mentioned.

I am willing to add content related to the above to make the page more neutral, but won't waste my time if it is not desired. Would that make the page too technical? Is that a bad thing?

--Candinavia (talk) 04:59, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

Sounds good. Without good sources, someone can easily come along and revert the work. I try to tag entries for needing citation instead. Can you list the source(s)? Light from the aurora not visible to the human eye. Technical language can be simplified, and summarizing is also an option. - Sidelight12 Talk 07:39, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

"The Earth's magnetic field traps these particles"[edit]

I think this section needs some expansion. It is not intuitively obvious how this might occur. Maybe one or two diagrams would help. 121.216.222.116 (talk) 12:34, 8 June 2014 (UTC)

3-D type Picture of the auroral doughnut needed.[edit]

Several of the images from space (Earth and other planets) show the doughnut shape of the aurora. This is a natural consequence of the interaction of the solar particles and the magnetic field of the planet. But it is not intuitive. We need a 3-D type drawing showing how the solar particles spiralling inwards and around the magnetic field lines inexorably leads to many things. The doughnut shape itself, how it aligns around the magnetic poles but not at them, and how the doughnut is not symmetrical in terms of brightness. I understand how this works, but am not skilled enough in drawing to do the job. 121.217.14.103 (talk) 12:19, 3 July 2014 (UTC)

Forthcoming Edit to Section 8 (Origin)[edit]

The paragraph in the Origin Section (#8) which describes “parallel potentials” requires some clarification, especially as one reference is undefined. A revision is proposed to elaborate on the mechanisms described and this will include reference to more recent findings and developments. Posting of this amendment will be held for a few days to allow notice of a change and invite interest. RAL2014 (talk) 14:33, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

Just do it. Seems the Evans (1974) ref tag was added back in 2005 by a now inactive user and never defined (Wiki referencing requirements were rather lax back then). That serious lapse is reason enough to do a rewrite or at least add ref details if you can locate the reference. Revise away ... Vsmith (talk) 13:05, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for endorsement. Revision has now been made. More seems to need doing! RAL2014 (talk) 08:59, 4 September 2014 (UTC)