Auroras are some of the most breathtaking and surreal phenomena that you can witness on God’s green earth. While sharing a stunning picture of this marvel, NASA announced an initiative that is set to make spotting and tracking Aurora all the more easy! And at the helm of this initiative is you! Yes! You, too, can help in tracking auroras through this new initiative called Aurorasaurus. Here is everything you need you need to know about it!
NASA Shares Stunning Picture Of An Aurora
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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration or NASA recently took to Instagram and shared the most phenomenal picture of northern lights looming over the Earth’s surface. They shared a lengthy caption along with the picture. It revealed that the picture was taken from the International Space Station or the ISS while it was hanging 418 kilometres above Utah.
It went on to provide a little information about what causes this resplendent phenomenon. Magnetic storms which are triggered by solar activity cause this phenomenon. Solar activities happen when there is an explosion on the sun, which is also called a Solar Flare, or when gas bubbles are ejected, which is also known as coronal mass ejection.
The picture was shared nine hours and already, it has managed to garner close to 2.5 lakh likes. Many admirers took to the comment section to express their awe at this stunning photo. One commenter even pointed out how the northern lights looked so much more beautiful from up there. The pic’s caption started with “cloudy with a chance of glow,” which is a play on a popular movie title.
About Aurorasaurus, An Initiative To Track Northern Lights
What an amazing aurora display over the last few days! Don’t forget that you can #DoNASAScience and participate in the #HelioBigYear by making a report to https://t.co/H8M6qEdbuK (whether or not you saw aurora) when you’re well rested. pic.twitter.com/0Zr31WFvD0
— Aurorasaurus (@TweetAurora) November 6, 2023
In the caption, NASA also announced that people around the world could now help in tracking, and subsequently, providing more useful data on northern lights through Aurorasaurus. It is the first-ever only-citizens science initiative. It tracks Aurora-related posts and tweets from all over the world and then asks people to log in and verify these sightings.
This method has yielded significant insights as per their website. Because of this initiative, scientists were able to establish that, because of social media, space weather can be detected in real-time. Scientists were also able to find out that northern lights are visible further south than modelling initially predicted.
They also learned that crowdsourced verification citizen science observation works. And if the citizen reports are built into space weather, then it makes them more accurate.
Click here to learn more about Aurorasaurus and to contribute to its knowledge.
Have you ever spotted or witnessed the northern lights? Would you like to witness it if given the chance? Let us know in the comments section below!
Cover Image Credits: @nasa/Instagram
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