[Press Release] Auroral mystery solved: sudden bursts caused by swirling charged particles

Profs. Ebihara (PSTEP-A03 group member, Kyoto University) and Tanaka (PSTEP-A03 research collaborator, Kyushu University/NICT) have identified the cause of auroral breakups including surges, the dancing polar lights that have endured as one of the Earth’s most beautiful and compelling mysteries. The electric current associated with auroral breakups is known to cause the geomagnetically induced current that may be hazardous to power grids on the ground.

Research Paper
Y. Ebihara and T. Tanaka
“Substorm simulation: Formation of westward traveling surge”
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, Accepted manuscript online: 14 November 2015

[DOI] http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2015JA021697

Press release from Kyoto University