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You are browsing the archive for Aurora Archives - The Field.

October 14, 2021

Red aurora rare enough to be special

Green auroras occur at about 60 miles above Earth. Pure red auroras are much higher, from about 200 to 300 miles up, which allows people closer to the equator to see them. An important gas remaining at that altitude is oxygen, and electrons that excite the oxygen atoms there produce a red light as pure as a laser.

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January 30, 2020

Rocket on the chilled rail at Poker Flat

In cold, dry, subarctic air, a rocket taller than a house tilts northward, awaiting the moment when a person inside a nearby concrete building pushes a button. The ink-black Chatanika River valley will then flash white, and erupt with a clap of thunder.

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July 18, 2018

Way back when, artist believed Alaska was a good deal

“How shall I, in few words, describe this immense stream, one that our men were wont to compare with the Mississippi! At Nulato, which is 600 miles above its mouth, it is, from bank to bank, one mile and a quarter wide …

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February 16, 2018

Space weather: havoc caused by the sun

Space weather affects snowplow drivers carving through Thompson Pass in a whiteout, Iowa farmers dropping seeds of corn, and wedding planners who release white doves during the ceremony. These and other customers subscribe to daily forecasts from the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colorado.

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December 1, 2017

Pioneer scientist determined aurora height over Alaska

“Professor Fuller Drops Dead in Garden.” So reads the headline in the Farthest-North Collegian newspaper of June 1, 1935.

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September 15, 2017

Turning on the aurora switch with HAARP

People travel north from all over for a chance to see the aurora. Soon, Chris Fallen will make his own.

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September 8, 2017

NOW! Update #3: Solar storm sparks aurora, disturbs GPS and HAM radio

This evening Earth was slammed by a blast of high-energy particles that erupted from a monster solar flare on Wednesday. Scott Sutherland shared the moment on Twitter…

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February 17, 2017

Cold War inspired first launch from Poker Flat

When they launch, the four rockets now pointed northward from Poker Flat Research Range will add to the 345 that have arced over northern Alaska during the past 48 years. Recently, Chuck Deehr remembered number one.

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October 10, 2016

Pondering the infinite in Yukon Flats

An observer once said Yukon Flats looks like a place where God forgot to put something.

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