Here's the latest article from the Astronomy site at BellaOnline.com.
Citizen Science in the Electronic Age
How many, and what kinds of birds are there around? How do we classify a million galaxies in sky survey images? How dark is the sky? Citizen scientists help to find out all of these things – and more. You could be a citizen scientist too.
The Sun has been in the news lately. On January 19 a coronal mass ejection (CME) sent a cloud of high energy particles our way. When it arrived, there were ground current surges in northern Scandanavia - fortunately, not enough to cause damage to electrical or generating equipment. But there were some spectacular aurorae.
This is a picture taken in Alaska. The auroral shape is called a corona – it's an effect created when the aurora is directly overhead. http://spaceweather.com/images2012/22jan12/alaskacorona.jpg?PHPSESSID=h011qcup84s9k9c5oqe8kb0cp3
And here is a time lapse video that Ørjan Bertelsen made on January 22 near Tromso, Norway. http://vimeo.com/35586157 It's fantastic on full screen. If it runs a bit slowly, you might want to turn the music off.
A few days later a second CME arrived creating even more spectacular aurorae, some activity seen even as far south as Michigan and South Dakota in the USA.
“Aurorae – Polar Light Shows” will tell you more about aurorae:
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Astronomy Editor BellaOnline