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The Aurora

E23ea2b82db9fc04e4c8161cdaf099a1?s=47 Robert Simpson
September 15, 2012

The Aurora

A talk given at the Oxford University alumni open day, in September 2012. The talk outlines the origin of aurora (a.k. the Northern/Southern Lights) and how they interacts with the planets - mostly Earth.

You can hear the audio of this talk at http://podcasts.ox.ac.uk/mystical-northern-lights-audio

E23ea2b82db9fc04e4c8161cdaf099a1?s=128

Robert Simpson

September 15, 2012
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Transcript

  1. THE  AURORA Robert  Simpson  -­‐  Oxford  University

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  30. Carrington  Event September  1st,  1859 Aurora  seen  all  over  the

     world Sparks  flew  from  telegraph  poles
  31. 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973

    Proton  Flux Major  Solar  Flare  IntensiQes
  32. 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973

    Proton  Flux APOLLO 11 12 14 15 16 17 Major  Solar  Flare  IntensiQes
  33. 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973

    Proton  Flux APOLLO 11 12 14 15 16 17 Sickness Death Major  Solar  Flare  IntensiQes
  34. E=mc2

  35. Sun  converts  Hydrogen  into  Helium 0.7%  of  the  mass  turns

     into  energy 4  million  tonnes  are  lost  per  second     E=  mc2
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  37. 3.6×  1026  W

  38. 3.6×  1026  W 163  W/m2

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  40. THE  SOLAR  WIND Protons  and  electrons 400  km/s  (1.5  million

     km/hr) 1.3  ×  1036  parQcles/s   6.7  ×  109  tonnes/hr    
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  60. Oxygen Nitrogen

  61. Oxygen Nitrogen

  62. Oxygen Oxygen Oxygen Oxygen Nitrogen

  63. Oxygen Oxygen Nitrogen Nitrogen Oxygen Oxygen

  64. Oxygen Oxygen Nitrogen Nitrogen Oxygen Oxygen Nitrogen

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  83. Huge,  empty  and  dominated  by  the  Sun. If  the  earth

     is  a  peppercorn,  Jupiter  is  a  walnut  and   the  Sun  is  a  beach  ball. It  is  o`en  what  we  cannot  see  (magneQsm,  UV)  that   is  important  in  astronomy. THE  SOLAR  SYSTEM
  84. Billions  of  tonnes  of  material  moving  at  millions  of  

    miles  per  hour! Charged  parQcles  excite  molecules  in  the  atmosphere   to  create  the  colours. An  auroral  oval  that  shrinks  and  grows  with  the  solar   wind. Best  seen  from  the  polar  regions  -­‐  and  when  it’s  dark! THE  AURORA
  85. Robert  Simpson rob@zooniverse.org              @orbiQngfrog