Aurora

The Aurora Page
A nice page with lots of information about the aurora. Images, summary information, forecasts, and links to other interesting web pages with auroral information or related data and content. Good stuff for all levels of visitors. Maintained by the Department of Geological Engineering and Sciences at Michigan Tech. http://www.geo.mtu.edu/weather/aurora/

Auroras: Paintings in the Sky
The aurora site at San Francisco’s Exploratorium. This site offers a self-guided lesson on the aurora, links to other aurora sites, and suggestions for teachers on how the site can be used in the classroom. http://www.exploratorium.edu/learning_studio/auroras/index.html

Auroral Particles and Imagery Site
This site presents a series of “interwoven” stories about the Sun-Earth connection as manifested in the Earth’s aurora. The four interwoven stories are “The Solar Cycle and the Aurora,” “Is the aurora there when no one is looking?”, “Barring the Earth’s halo,” and “The Solar wind striking the Earth’s atmosphere.” Visitors to the site can choose between a scientific and a “plain English” presentation. While the stories focus on recent results, the non-scientific versions contain useful background information for a general audience. The site is maintained by the Auroral Particles and Imagery Group at the Applied Physics Laboratory (Laurel, Maryland). http://sd-www.jhuapl.edu/Aurora/stories/hp.eng.html

Aurora Pages at the Athena Site
Two pages on the Athena site offer pictures and clearly written information about the aurora: “Overview of the Aurora” and “Introducing the Aurora – Earth’s Great Light Show.” Both pages provide references for further reading. “Earth’s Great Light Show” contains a helpful list of FAQs about the aurora. Like other material on the site, the aurora pages are aimed at students in grades K-12.

The Aurora
This is the aurora Web site of the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks. This site offers a tutorial on the aurora presented on the K-12 level and an attractive 41-page slide show presentation on the aurora. The latter is available in Spanish and Japanese as well as in English. The site also provides a weekly forecast of auroral activity over Alaska, links to a series of brief popular articles on the aurora produced by the Geophysical Institute, and a list of FAQs on the aurora. http://www.gi.alaska.edu/asahi/

Physics of the Aurora: Earth Systems
This interactive learning module introduces the systems and processes through which the Earth’s magnetic field and upper atmosphere capture the solar wind to light up the polar sky. Developed especially for university professors and students in the fields of physics and astronomy, this module includes sections on the history, lore, and science of the aurora, the magnetosphere, the thermosphere-ionosphere, basic electromagnetism, and upper-atmospheric physics. It’s freely available on the Internet at: http://meted.ucar.edu/hao/aurora/.

Secrets of the Polar Aurora
The polar aurora (“northern lights”)–rare to most of us, but not in Alaska–is our window to the magnetic environment of Earth in space. This very detailed review tells where and when it is seen, its relation to the Earth’s magnetic field, to the electric currents which accelerate its electrons, to radiation belts and sunspots, to magnetic storms and “substorms,” even its history and “artificial aurora” created by humans. Part of a non-mathematical exposition “Exploration of the Earth’s Magnetosphere”, it also has a Spanish translation (Msecrets.html). http://www.phy6.org/Education/aurora.htm