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Red Auroras


Captain Jiffy

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Hey, all.

I'm relatively new to space weather. I must admit what got me noticing space weather was a certain fear mongering YouTube channel with a sizable following. I've since unsubscribed after seeing a few debunkings on the electric universe theory and also just noticing how culty the channel felt. But I can't help but wonder if he has a point about the earth's magnetic field weakening (in the same way a broken clock can be right). I remember reading an article in 2022 about how rare red auroras are and the last one, before this solar cycle, was due to the Halloween Storm of 2003, but now there have been about five instances of red auroras being seen pretty far south and without a major solar storm. Are red auroras more common than I was lead to believe or is our modern world facing some potentially serious issues? I would love to hear your feedback!

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I second what Sander says. The magnetic field is losing strength but it won't cause an apocalypse anytime soon. There have been a lot of fear mongering the last couple of days, especially on TikTok and Youtube. It's very important to be critical and to do your own research, like you did by posting a question here.

If you want to read about the weakening of Earth's magnetic field there are several articles out there that talks about the subject. This article from ESA has some good information but it's from 2020: https://www.esa.int/Applications/Observing_the_Earth/FutureEO/Swarm/Swarm_probes_weakening_of_Earth_s_magnetic_field?fbclid=IwAR0FgT2liv14LfioHyFu__z2hm78UwUuBOsAVxuY9H1Z41BNt92Wa6_6Ngo

I would like to add to @Vancanneyt Sander comment that there is something called SAR (stable auroral red) arcs which were visible on sunday. These arcs mainly appear in middle latitudes during big geomagnetic storms and are bright red. This paper has a lot of good information about SAR arcs: https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2019JA027321

Edited by arjemma
Added link to ESA
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5 hours ago, Vancanneyt Sander said:

When aurora appears on lower latitudes it's often red and not green. The color of the aurora depends on the height in the atmosphere the particles collide with, above 200km when a particle hits an oxygen atom it will generate energy and will free this energy in the form of red light. Between 100 and 200km when it hits nitrogen atoms it will turn green, below 100km when a particle hits nitrogen molecules it will turn purple. The red part is the highest part in the atmosphere, so when the auroral oval overflows during a geomagnetic storm low latitude viewers look at the side of the oval and see the highest (and mostly red part). So green aurora on low latitudes is more rare than red aurora. 

Yes the magnetic field is a bit weakening but not at a rate that it would suddenly disappear. Don't listen to the fear mongers.

Yes an interesting article 😊Below is a similar article that looks at the relationship between STEVE (Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement) and SAR’s. 
STEVE is often mistaken for aurora. It is produced by different mechanisms.

N.

https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2022GL101205

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This was from Coffey County KS on Sunday at 6:34pm central time

XSxGhXs.jpg

Then this picture was taken from a similar location just a few miles away but at 9:04pm central time
9iIVANO.jpg

There is a meteor in the arc off center right, cloud dimmed it.  but the camera still caught it.   These are with an iPhone 13 base + tripod @ 30seconds

 

Both of these images are the same focal length.  1x standard zoom on an iphone13

Edited by kansasaurorachaser
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3 minutes ago, kansasaurorachaser said:

This was from Coffey County KS on Sunday at 6:34pm central time

XSxGhXs.jpg

Then this picture was taken from a similar location just a few miles away but at 9:04pm central time
9iIVANO.jpg

There is a meteor in the arc off center right, cloud dimmed it.  but the camera still caught it.   These are with an iPhone 13 base + tripod @ 30seconds

Thanks for putting the iPhone details up. It’s good to share that 😊 Did you see anything naked eye?

Good catch with the meteor makes it special!

N.

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3 minutes ago, Newbie said:

Thanks for putting the iPhone details up. It’s good to share that 😊 Did you see anything naked eye?

Good catch with the meteor makes it special!

N.

I can't say definitively that I saw the pinks with the naked eye because I was too consumed making sure I was capturing them instead.

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On 11/7/2023 at 6:49 PM, Vancanneyt Sander said:

 So green aurora on low latitudes is more rare than red aurora. 

Yes the magnetic field is a bit weakening but not at a rate that it would suddenly disappear. Don't listen to the fear mongers.

 

On 11/7/2023 at 10:00 PM, arjemma said:

I second what Sander says. The magnetic field is losing strength but it won't cause an apocalypse anytime soon. There have been a lot of fear mongering the last couple of days, especially on TikTok and Youtube. It's very important to be critical and to do your own research, like you did by posting a question here.

 

Thank you two for those comments. 

There indeed was *a lot* of fearmongering on social media because of that.  As far as I did my research, the magnetic field is still strong enough, right? the doomers make it appear like it will disappear in the next few years. I got into spaceweather in 2019 and i remember in 2020 Ben Davidson and his weird cult started pushing that topic A LOT.

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I would have replied much sooner, but life has been pretty busy lately. I really appreciate everyone's comments and the articles posted! I guess to play devils advocate would the more frequent sightings of red auroras, though it they seemed to be caused by more heat and energy than electrical induction or whatever specifically creates auroras, be attributed to the weakening magnetic field? Are their any sources on the relationship between red auroras and field strength? Just curious. I'm total noob and am totally open to any and all criticism. Thanks again everyone!

On 11/9/2023 at 10:34 AM, arjemma said:

So you are correct in not listening to Ben Davidson and other fearmongerers on social media that don't know anything about real science. People are stupid and people do this for views and clout. We are fine, and we will be for a long time. I'm pretty sure there would be other things killing us first haha.

Yeah it didn't take too much digging before I realized he would misuse scientific studies to push his narrative, specifically when it come to the sun influencing earthquakes. However, with most things now I try to find kernals of truth wherever I can. For example a crazy homeless man can offer insights about where a bad car accident happened and how to avoid the mess. Though like the crazy homeless man, Ben Davidson also bugs you for money at the same time!

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8 hours ago, Captain Jiffy said:

I would have replied much sooner, but life has been pretty busy lately. I really appreciate everyone's comments and the articles posted! I guess to play devils advocate would the more frequent sightings of red auroras, though it they seemed to be caused by more heat and energy than electrical induction or whatever specifically creates auroras, be attributed to the weakening magnetic field? Are their any sources on the relationship between red auroras and field strength? Just curious. I'm total noob and am totally open to any and all criticism. Thanks again everyone!

Yeah it didn't take too much digging before I realized he would misuse scientific studies to push his narrative, specifically when it come to the sun influencing earthquakes. However, with most things now I try to find kernals of truth wherever I can. For example a crazy homeless man can offer insights about where a bad car accident happened and how to avoid the mess. Though like the crazy homeless man, Ben Davidson also bugs you for money at the same time!

No worries, life happens. I’m bad at being active here as well from time to time. Welcome to the world of space weather, it’s a very interesting and fun subject to learn about. Ask away whenever you have questions, there are many members here who will gladly answer them for you.

Aurora is formed when there are too much pressure on our magnetic field and that causes ”cracks” and then forms aurora at the poles (a simple explanation). This is common during geomagnetic storms and our magnetic field recovers rather quickly as geomagnetic storms are temporary. When our magnetic field is weaker it will ”crack” more easily and therefor cause more aurora. It’s explained here for example: https://climate.nasa.gov/news/3105/earths-magnetosphere-protecting-our-planet-from-harmful-space-energy/

I know I should have some studies on this relationship in my huge bookmark folder with studies about space weather. I will send them to you if I find them.

Ben Davidson is sadly spreading so much misinformation about space weather and sadly his videos on TikTok are being rather popular at the moment. Many people that are using TikTok are young and don’t do their due diligence to see if what was said is true or not. For these videos Ben gets money from views and also from gifts on TikTok. I think he is behind several accounts or he has supporters who helps him spread the information.

Edited by arjemma
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  • 6 months later...

Hey everyone!

I have a few more thoughts and questions concerning aurora appearing more intense and red; so why not dredge up this old post to do so!

Concerning the redness of the aurora could a lot of the extra colors that we see in photos, making them seem more intense, be due to modern digital photography being able to pick up more colors than the human eye can? During the G5 storms not long ago I was only able to see greens, blues and whites for the most part. Once I took out my phone to take pictures I could see a lot of reds and some yellows in the mix as well.

As far as magnetic field strength I remember seeing article (I can't find it anymore) that mentioned how satellites maybe be interfering with earth's magnetic field. In addition to satellites I remember Neil Degrasse Tyson discussing the problem of space trash/debris and how it determines when we can launch rockets at times. Can satellites and space trash be significant factors in field strength or at least flux distortion? I know magnetic fields induce currents in conductors and those induced currents create their own magnetic fields. It seems very reasonable that this can be an issue in a similar way induced eddie currents on DC electric motor rotors reduce efficiency.

For my last question I am firmly placing a tin foil hat upon my head (underneath my dunce cap)! What if the conspiracy theorists are right and "chem-trails" are real? I personally don't think so, but reality seems to be stranger than fiction these days so who knows. But the idea of using certain aerosols to limit the effects of climate change have been around for awhile and a European commission has called for the international community to discuss potential risks recently.

Let's say, hypothetically, a hand full of governments decided to ask for forgiveness instead of permission and have already started geoengineering the atmosphere. Would particulates sprayed at this elevation be high enough to create an array of colors that could be confused for natural aurora when ionized (I think ionized is the proper term)?

My apologies if my questions seem silly, but these were questions I was mulling over in my head at work and figured you all could help me out. Any input would be greatly appreciated!

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3 hours ago, Captain Jiffy said:

Hey everyone!

I have a few more thoughts and questions concerning aurora appearing more intense and red; so why not dredge up this old post to do so!

Concerning the redness of the aurora could a lot of the extra colors that we see in photos, making them seem more intense, be due to modern digital photography being able to pick up more colors than the human eye can? During the G5 storms not long ago I was only able to see greens, blues and whites for the most part. Once I took out my phone to take pictures I could see a lot of reds and some yellows in the mix as well.

As far as magnetic field strength I remember seeing article (I can't find it anymore) that mentioned how satellites maybe be interfering with earth's magnetic field. In addition to satellites I remember Neil Degrasse Tyson discussing the problem of space trash/debris and how it determines when we can launch rockets at times. Can satellites and space trash be significant factors in field strength or at least flux distortion? I know magnetic fields induce currents in conductors and those induced currents create their own magnetic fields. It seems very reasonable that this can be an issue in a similar way induced eddie currents on DC electric motor rotors reduce efficiency.

For my last question I am firmly placing a tin foil hat upon my head (underneath my dunce cap)! What if the conspiracy theorists are right and "chem-trails" are real? I personally don't think so, but reality seems to be stranger than fiction these days so who knows. But the idea of using certain aerosols to limit the effects of climate change have been around for awhile and a European commission has called for the international community to discuss potential risks recently.

Let's say, hypothetically, a hand full of governments decided to ask for forgiveness instead of permission and have already started geoengineering the atmosphere. Would particulates sprayed at this elevation be high enough to create an array of colors that could be confused for natural aurora when ionized (I think ionized is the proper term)?

My apologies if my questions seem silly, but these were questions I was mulling over in my head at work and figured you all could help me out. Any input would be greatly appreciated!

Hello man!

First of all:

"There is only one good - knowledge. There is only one evil - ignorance. There is only one god - knowledge, and only one devil - ignorance." Socrates.

Your questions is not silly, you just searching the truth. And this is quite good - keep going this way.

And now - in order:

1. Long-exposure photography will certainly show more than the human eye can see, because the eye is not capable of storing light. But the image does not appear out of nowhere: all we see in the photographs is really existing light. But very-very weak.

As mentioned earlier, aurorae have 3 main different colors depending on the height at which the glow occurs: violet (the lowest, due to the glow of nitrogen), green - the most popular (due to the glow of molecular oxygen) and the highest - red (due to the glow of oxygen in the upper layers of the atmosphere). All these glows are explained by ionization and subsequent de-ionization with the release of a photon - a particle of light radiation of a certain wavelength. This wavelength depends only on the nature of the gas. The blue and yellow colors you saw in the photo were most likely due to artificial light sources and the influence of light pollution. Sometimes yellow and orange colors can be seen in long exposure photographs, but away from large cities that cause light pollution. It is called an intrinsic atmospheric glow (or airglow) and it was discovered before the first airplanes appeared.

2. A few words about the weakening of the Earth's magnetic field: humanity has nothing to do with it. Even if there really is a weakening of the magnetic field, this is a completely natural process and humanity is unlikely to be able to do anything about it even if it really wants to. The Earth's magnetic field is strong and robust enough that satellites can seriously weaken it. Satellites are a real pain, especially in astrophotography (I am an astrophotographer, I know this from my own experience), and in the future, a large number of them may also become a problem for deep space exploration missions. But satellites in orbit are unlikely to influence the Earth’s magnetic field. And our magnetic field works well - just by a fact that we are all still alive.

3. Chem-trails - this one is one of my favorite. The roots of this conspiracy theory lies in a total misunderstanding of the mechanism of operation of airplane engines and the lack of basic knowledge of physics. There is no evidence to support any use of chemicals discharged from airplanes (except for some waste products of passengers))). But this does not stop conspiracy theorists from building their crazy theories, like the one that says that the red color of the aurora is an oxygen burning down in the Earth's atmosphere. I don’t like to quote this man, but “the worse the lie, the easier it is to believe in it.” 

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5 hours ago, Captain Jiffy said:

Would particulates sprayed at this elevation be high enough to create an array of colors that could be confused for natural aurora when ionized?

No:

1 hour ago, astrophotolab said:

aurorae have 3 main different colors depending on the height at which the glow occurs

Also, 

5 hours ago, Captain Jiffy said:

questions concerning aurora appearing more intense and red

The aurora has not been appearing more intense and red. You seeing green when others see other colors is simply a non-uniform weather condition. It could be raining 5 miles away but sunny and dry where you are, for a fundamental example.

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As ever this knowledgeable community has probably beaten me to it. But as I recall the red glow is a phenomenon called STEVE that is related to interactions with particles in the atmosphere but is not related to aurora directly. It's mostly seen at equatorial latitudes but is also quite rare. With regards to various happenings within the solar system and magnetic fields and the like. Fluctuations and cycles have taken place for longer then we've walked this planet. To put it into perspective The Earth has been around for roughly 4.5,000,000,000 years and the activity we monitor has been going for about the same amount of time. We've only really begun to monitor any of it in a significant way within the last 100 years. The forces and energies being unleashed all around us are so great that if a cataclysmic event did happen we couldn't do anything to prevent it anyway. So, we might as well smile and enjoy ourselves and have a good time hoping for more aurora to be visible at our home latitudes and see cool flares popping off on the satellite imagery 🙂

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On 5/22/2024 at 12:09 AM, Sam Warfel said:

This is not accurate, the red aurorae being discussed here is entirely different from STEVE, which appears as whitish-maybe (pinkish) ribbon running horizontally east-west in the subauroral zone, sometimes but not always accompanied by a green "picket fence" aurora.

If anything, SAR arcs would be more relevant here than STEVE, perhaps that is what you had in mind but mixed up the names.

That's cool. Then I recalled incorrectly

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Red aurora. 
I am in Victoria Australia, we mostly get red Aurora because of our lattutude (in other words we can mostly see the top of the aurora), I get very excited when we can see a decent green band at the bottom. 
 

As for the higher latitudes seeing them more often in recent years… think about the solar cycle 🤔 are we currently in solar maximum? Why yes! Yes we are! 
More solar storms= more chances to see strong auroras displaying all the different colours. 
 

As for supposable “chem trails” (I seriously can’t roll my eyes enough when ppl start talking about them), I also fly planes, planes fly at high altitudes, the higher the altitude you go, the colder it gets. Now add a nice hot airplane engine into a nice cold moist area, & what happens? Condensation happens. Condensation that looks like a trail behind said airplane. 
 

They are contrails not chemtrails (con, for condensation). 

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Thanks everyone for the responses!

Once again I'm sorry for the late response to this thread. Yeah I've been trying to learn more about space weather in order to calm my anxieties about it and to be able to differentiate the fear mongering from legitimate concerns and from cool scientific facts. When it comes to red aurora I'm trying to figure out what can be attributed to the magnetic field, misunderstandings, potential human factors or sensationalism. I know in 2023 websites like space.com and sciencealert.com (not sure how reliable they are as sources) had articles about rare red aurora being seen. But then of coarse they were spotted multiple more times that year and that got Ben Davidson using it to prop up his own theories about earth's magnetic field. I figured it could be because modern photography is able to see the red aurora more easily which would make them less rare than previously thought.

On 5/21/2024 at 2:22 AM, astrophotolab said:

Hello man!

First of all:

"There is only one good - knowledge. There is only one evil - ignorance. There is only one god - knowledge, and only one devil - ignorance." Socrates.

Your questions is not silly, you just searching the truth. And this is quite good - keep going this way.

This is why I still occasionally watch Ben's channel but more for picking apart and examining what he is says. At the very least I can point out what seems wrong or maybe I can find a small nugget of truth. To me, for the most part, a lot of what he says at times doesn't seem to make sense or he uses such verbose language that he sounds authoritative but never breaks it down so his audience can easily and thoroughly understand what he's saying. This was a big red flag for me. The other day in one of his videos he had a screenshot from an article describing how even though the atmospheric distortion from the big solar storms earlier this month were similar to the big 1989 storm, we still only has had half the measured induced ground voltage that we had in 1989. Ben uses this as evidence for the weakening magnetic field because the kp idex didn't match the measured ground voltage. If you ask me this doesn't make sense since the magnetic field, in my mind, would prevent ground voltages from getting too high. If the earth's magnetic field was in trouble wouldn't the logic follow that the ground voltage would be the same or greater than the storm in 1989?

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Posted (edited)

I consider myself very fortunate never to have heard of B.D.  Landed here three years ago after seeing the Halloween  Storms video.    Oh man I love autocorrect. Haha. 

Edited by hamateur 1953
Halloween became Hollywood
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Posted (edited)

Btw @Philalethes do you think old 3664 has enough hydrocoptic marzelvanes left after the X 10+ on the backside for another epic pass this time around?   Wrong thread, but think on it.  Later. Mike 

Edited by hamateur 1953
Wrong thread no coffee yet
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