Scientists believe they have confidently proven the process of formation behind Aurora, with north and south lights visible in the night sky at higher latitudes. Researchers in particular have recreated the process in the lab. It all points to a single culprit: strong magnetic waves known as alfvén waves that accelerate the electrons traveling in the line of the earth’s magnetic field before flickering in the atmosphere. As reported by Nature Communications, the team used a large plasma device to recreate the waves. They observed that since the electrons could not only travel over the waves but were able to take energy from them, they were able to accelerate.
These electrons can reach about six percent of the speed of light and by slamming into oxygen and nitrogen atoms, they create the effect of the colored waving screen that we see in Arr. The test was not easy. To recreate the conditions of space, they had only a small number of electrons in this plasma, in the hope that the moving electrons would accelerate and display the signature characteristic of the so-called land damp.
Co-author Professor Greg Howes, from the University of Iowa, said in a statement, “As a result of the measurement, this tiny population of electrons travels through the electric field of the Alfven wave through ‘resonant acceleration’, as a surf captures a wave and accelerates as the surfer moves along the wave.” The theoretical framework of this scenario spanned more than a decade and includes Aurori’s computer simulations and observations from Earth and space that give credibility to the process. The tests conducted here add a new level of proof. The process of surfing electrons in Alfvan waves is now confirmed by theory, simulation and the latest laboratory results.
Understanding spectacular light shows helps us better understand the weather in our space and understand the risks of geomagnetic storms. First author Dr. Jim Schroeder of Wheaton College said in a statement, “For a long time, the electron process began with violent activity in the sun and at the end, electrons were known to crash into the upper atmosphere to scatter light. What remains unknown is the intermediate steps. This search provides an important piece of the puzzle.” “Understanding the physics of near-Earth space is also real. Our society has become dependent on this region of space, with satellites for communication and navigation, and the dynamics of massive and geomagnetic storms and auroras can adversely affect these satellites.”