Washington D.C.: The mystery of why auroras randomly burst with brightness has finally been solved.
The research undertaken by researchers of Kyoto University revealed that hot charged particles, or plasmas, gather in near-Earth space just above the upper atmosphere of the polar region when magnetic field lines reconnect in space. This makes the plasma rotate, creating a sudden electrical current above the Polar Regions.
Furthermore, an electric current overflow near the bright aurora in the upper atmosphere, making the plasma rotate and discharge the extra electricity. This gives rise to the surge, the very bright sparks of light that characterize substorms.
Lead researcher Yusuke Ebihara based the study on a supercomputer simulation program developed by Takashi Tanaka, professor emeritus at Kyushu University.
The researchers found that auroras originate from plasma from the sun, known as the solar wind.
The research also has the potential to alleviate hazardous problems associated with auroral breakups that can seriously disrupt satellites and power grids.
The study is published in the Journal l of Geophysical Research.