Why are the auroras seasonal?


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Author's Note: Why are the auroras seasonal?

One of the coolest things about studying science in space is that for every answer you find, you'll come upon another question. The study of auroras is a super cool example of that; sure, they know a couple things about why they're seasonal. But that's only a really small part that doesn't explain the whole. To get more information about auroras in general, NASA launched the THEMIS mission, and you can read about the agency's findings here.

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Sources

  • Lummerzhein, Dirk. "Frequently asked questions about auroras and answers." University of Alaska Fairbanks. July 1, 2012. (Nov. 15, 2012) http://odin.gi.alaska.edu/FAQ/#cause
  • NASA. "'Tis the season for auroras." United States Government. Oct. 26, 2001. (Nov. 15, 2012) http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2001/ast26oct_1/
  • NASA. "Aurora Season Begins." United States Government. Sept. 23, 2002. (Nov. 15, 2012) http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2002/23sep_auroraseason/
  • NASA. "Spring is aurora season." United States Government. March 20, 2008. (Nov. 15, 2012) http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2008/20mar_spring/
  • NASA. "The Mystery of Auroras." United States Government. April 25, 2006. (Nov. 15, 2012) http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/themis/auroras/aurora_feature2.html
  • Phillips, Tony. "Spring is aurora season." Astronomy. March 5, 2008. (Nov. 15, 2012) http://www.astronomy.com/en/sitecore/content/Home/News-Observing/News/2008/03/Spring%20is%20aurora%20season.aspx
  • Tate, Kari. "Season to Season: Earth's equinoxes and solstices." OurAmazingPlanet.com. March 16, 2012. (Nov. 15, 2012) http://www.ouramazingplanet.com/2629-season-season-earth-equinoxes-solstices-infographic.html
  • Taylor, Kenny. "Auroras -- Heavenly Lights." National Geographic. (Nov. 15, 2012) http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/space/universe/auroras-heavenly-lights/#page=1