NASA’s THEMIS Sees Auroras Move to the Rhythm of Earth’s Magnetic Field

Posted on Sept. 13, 2016

Researchers from NASA's THEMIS mission observe the northern lights dancing to the rhythm of Earth's magnetic field. Using a combination of five spacecraft and ground-based sensors and cameras across North America, a recent study published in Nature Physics showed that the aurora brightens and dims in lock step with vibrating loops called magnetic field lines that surround our planet.

A recent international study in Nature Physics, featuring UCLA EPSS researchers, used data from the NASA THEMIS spacecraft to link Earth's magnetic field motion to the varying brightness of the northern lights.