Aurora explosion occurred in Earth’s atmosphere

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Aurora explosion occurred in Earth’s atmosphere

#astronomy #apod #science #astrophotography #space

Auroras cause spectacular light shows in the night sky, but they can also destroy the ozone layer.

Auroras create spectacular light shows in the night sky, but they also illuminate another reason the ozone layer is eroding.

Although most of the ozone layer depletion is caused by humans, observations of a type of aurora borealis known as isolated proton auroras have revealed that ozone from outer space, such as charged particles in the plasma, from solar flares and coronal rays, has been observed. The cause of the destruction has become clear. The released mass emissions erode the ozone layer many times over. Until now, the effects of these particles were only vaguely known.

Now, an international team of researchers has discovered that the effects of isolated proton auroras have created a gaping hole of about 250 miles (400 kilometers) in the ozone layer just below where the auroras originated. . Most of the ozone disappears in about an hour and a half. The researchers did not expect that much ozone would be depleted during the event, they said in a statement.

An isolated proton aurora may not be as conspicuous as an aurora or aurora to its south, but it is still visible to the human eye. Plasma attacks emitted by the Sun produce high-energy ions and electrons. Such particles end up in the Earth’s inner and outer Van Allen radiation belts, preventing them from hitting the Earth directly and turning it into a sun-drenched wasteland like Mars. Particles that reach the inner radiation belt can ruin the Earth’s atmosphere if they penetrate the magnetic field lines. Nitrogen oxides and hydrogen oxides released by the interaction of particles with the atmosphere deplete ozone. However, this only applies to the mesospheric ozone layer. The stratosphere, the more important layer below, is unaffected. But lone proton auroras affect Earth in other ways.

“[Electronic fallout] from Earth’s radiation belt, as a link between space weather and the climate system, plays a key role in mesospheric ozone depletion,” the researchers explain their findings. I wrote in my thesis. Damage left in mesospheric ozone repairs faster than stratospheric ozone holes (often caused by human activity), but isolated proton auroras still influence atmospheric changes. Space weather can disrupt satellites and electrical infrastructure, and charged particles pose a danger to astronauts.

The results help scientists predict variations in space weather that can affect the planet’s atmosphere.

The research was published Oct. 11 in the journal Scientific Reports


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