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Red Auroras


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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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8 minutes ago, kansasaurorachaser said:

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.

Yeah I get it!

Funny that 😊

N.

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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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2 hours ago, MinYoongi said:

 

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.

No problem and yes it is extreme fearmongering and sadly fearmongering just gets worse and worse the more people watch these TikToks and Youtube channels. I have seen several people in Swedish groups on Facebook believing these channels and they are spreading their fear to others even though there isn't anything scientific behind those claims.

The strength of Earth's magnetic field is known to have stronger and weaker periods which is completely normal. Our magnetic field won't just disappear all of a sudden. It's still very strong and it's gonna protect us for many years to come. According to ESA our magnetic field has weakened about 15% over the span of 150 years. We are overdue for a pole shift, that is correct but fearmongering on social media makes people believe that will be the end of the world but recent studies have shown that it won't. ESA's SWARM probe have measured the magnetic field since it was launched.

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.

Edited by arjemma
Removed a link I realized that I had already shared
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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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