Uncovering the Mystery of Auroral Beads

A special type of aurora, draped east-west across the night sky like a glowing pearl necklace, is helping scientists better understand the science of auroras and their powerful drivers out in space.

Known as auroral beads, these lights often show up just before large auroral displays, which are caused by electrical storms in space called substorms. Until now, scientists weren’t sure if auroral beads are somehow connected to other auroral displays as a phenomenon in space that precedes substorms, or if they are caused by disturbances closer to Earth’s atmosphere.

But powerful new computer models, combined with observations from NASA’s Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms – THEMIS – mission, have provided the first direct evidence of the events in space that lead to the appearance of these beads and demonstrated the important role they play in our local space environment.

Read more: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/aurora-m…

Music: “Intrigues and Plots” and “Repetitive Motion” by Laurent Dury [SACEM] from Universal Production Music

Video credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Joy Ng (USRA): Lead Producer

Mara Johnson-Groh (SESDA): Producer

Kareem Sorathia (JHUAPL): Scientist

Slava Merkin (JHUAPL): Scientist

Evgeny Panov (OAW): Scientist

This video is public domain and along with other supporting visualizations can be downloaded from NASA Goddard’s Scientific Visualization Studio at: https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/13687

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August 15, 2020 at 04:26AM

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