(ORDO NEWS) — Is this another sign of the end of the world? Red. Green. Purple. These are the colors we usually see during any manifestation of Aurora. But BLACK … Come on …
What are Black Aurors?
On April 18, Alan K. Tough of Hopeman, Moray, Scotland saw something different. Black Northern Lights! In the photo below, “notice the dark vertical stripe above the green stripe, which is devoid of any normal auroral color.”
Black Aurors have been seen before. These are dark rings or black spots that sometimes appear against the background of normal auroral light. Some researchers call them “anti-aurors”.
Common auroras are caused by electrons falling from space, entering the upper atmosphere of the Earth and causing the air to glow.
Black Aurors are the opposite. Instead of electrons falling down, electrons rush up, back into space.
This diagram shows what is happening:
On January 14, 2001, the European spacecraft Cluster flew in formation over the black aurora and saw this process in action. Sensors aboard spacecraft have detected strong positive electric fields in the black aurora zone. These idiosyncratic fields stopped and even reversed the normal downward flow of electrons causing the aurora.
The study of black Aurors is still in its infancy, and forecasters cannot yet predict when and where they might appear.
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