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When a particularly strong burst of particles from the Sun hits Saturn, it can cause the magnetotail to collapse, with the ensuing disturbance of the planet's magnetic field resulting in spectacular auroral displays.
During these years there were few sunspots and no auroral displays at UK latitudes.
By the eighteenth century, there was a rise in auroral observations associated with the end of the "Maunder Minimum" period of decreased sunspot activity, and scientists began to engage with first-hand accounts of rare and anomalous auroral activity (such as the occurrence of sounds and smells) just as individual and national programmes of auroral observation in European latitudes commenced.
The landscape is relatively flat, so the full auroral display can be seen from most vantage points.
The auroral displays are associated with the solar wind - electrically charged particles continuously spewing outward from the sun.
As the number of sunspots grow we will see an increase in auroral activity, and possibly in more frequent disruptions to our communications systems.
It is not the first time the bases have had to debunk claims that it is involved on manipulating the weather through a connection it may or may not have to the US Defence Department's High Frequency Active Auroral Research Programme (HAARP), a giant 'weather station' based in Alaska, which is said to be mucking about in the ionosphere on a regular basis.
To take an animated tour of the atmosphere and fly past meteors, auroral displays, and the space shuttle, visit this site from NASA:
received the award for Significant Technical Achievement for outstanding leadership and engineering innovation in the design, construction, and activation of the High-Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) instrument in Gakona, Alaska.
THEMIS will obtain the evidence needed to solve what principal investigator Vassilis Angelopoulos of the University of California at Berkeley's Space Sciences Laboratory (SSL), calls "a nagging question that the field has to resolve"--namely, competing theories about where auroral substorms originate in the magnetosphere.
Resolutions: the source of kilometric continuum radiation, solar-wind and auroral intensity effects on ionospheric out flow and the relationship between proton and electron auroras during geospace storms.