Presenter Information

Matthew LowFollow

Start Date

12-12-2018 9:15 AM

Description

Earth is constantly buffeted by the powerful, ever-changing stream of charged particles flowing from the Sun known as solar wind. Solar wind is a major contributing factor to space weather and is responsible for the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) that permeates throughout the solar system. It is important to understand and predict space weather, as solar events can have a devastating impact on Earth’s telecommunication systems and even power grids (in extreme cases). Aurorae, including aurora borealis (northern lights), are also caused by solar wind as it interacts with Earth’s magnetic field. Solar activity, such as sunspots or coronal mass ejections, can significantly strengthen solar wind intensity. This intense solar wind can be fairly destructive as mentioned previously, but it can also lead to beautiful and intense auroral displays.

Auroral expression is unique because it demonstrates the ways in which solar wind is directly interacting with Earth’s upper atmosphere and the state of space weather very close to Earth. I intend to utilize this property of aurorae by analyzing the connection between solar events and auroral expression. This study is aimed at providing a direct relationship between solar activity and the effects felt by Earth and its immediate surroundings.

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Dec 12th, 9:15 AM

The Connection among Solar Wind, Aurorae, and Solar Activity

Earth is constantly buffeted by the powerful, ever-changing stream of charged particles flowing from the Sun known as solar wind. Solar wind is a major contributing factor to space weather and is responsible for the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) that permeates throughout the solar system. It is important to understand and predict space weather, as solar events can have a devastating impact on Earth’s telecommunication systems and even power grids (in extreme cases). Aurorae, including aurora borealis (northern lights), are also caused by solar wind as it interacts with Earth’s magnetic field. Solar activity, such as sunspots or coronal mass ejections, can significantly strengthen solar wind intensity. This intense solar wind can be fairly destructive as mentioned previously, but it can also lead to beautiful and intense auroral displays.

Auroral expression is unique because it demonstrates the ways in which solar wind is directly interacting with Earth’s upper atmosphere and the state of space weather very close to Earth. I intend to utilize this property of aurorae by analyzing the connection between solar events and auroral expression. This study is aimed at providing a direct relationship between solar activity and the effects felt by Earth and its immediate surroundings.