Skip to comments.Alaskan seismometers record the northern lights
Posted on 07/29/2020 7:04:47 PM PDT by BenLurkin
By comparing data collected by all-sky cameras, magnetometers, and seismometers during three aurora events in 2019, University of Alaska Fairbanks seismologist Carl Tape and colleagues show that it's possible to match the striking display of lights with seismic signals, to observe the same phenomenon in different ways.
Researchers have known for a while that seismometers are sensitive to magnetic fluctuationsand have worked hard to find ways to shield their instruments against magnetic influence or to remove these unwanted signals from their seismic data. But the aurora study offers an example of how seismometers could be paired with other instruments to study these fluctuations.
The aurora borealis, or northern lights, occurs when solar windsplasma ejected from the Sun's surfacemeet the protective magnetic field that surrounds the Earth. The collision of particles produces colorful lights in the sky and creates fluctuations in the magnetic field that are sometimes called solar or space "storms." Magnetometers deployed on the Earth's surface are the primary instrument used to detect these fluctuations, which can significantly impact electrical grids, GPS systems and other crucial infrastructure. The aurora is commonly visible in wintertime in high-latitude regions such as Alaska.
The seismometers in the study are part of the USArray Transportable Array, a network of temporary seismometers placed across North America as part of the EarthScope project. The array in Alaska and western Canada was completed in the fall of 2017. The aurora paper is one of several included in an upcoming SRL focus section about EarthScope in Alaska and Canada.
These temporary seismic stations are not shielded from magnetic fields, unlike more permanent stations that are often cloaked in mu-metal, a nickel-iron alloy that directs magnetic fields around the instrument's sensors.
(Excerpt) Read more at phys.org ...
Thank You for the thread BenLurkin.
I wonder if it’s hard to do an MRI up there when those things are going.
Sounds like an exercise in goofy but I hope they got some data
Magnet Room is shielded to prevent outside interference, but often some copper tabs get broken/bent that aren’t properly maintained so it’s possible-just not sure if magnitude is sufficient. Lower strength [likely older as well]magnets would see more than higher.. I’ve watched sigs fluctuate from nearby other MRs in same wing due to broken tabs.
So... Seis matters after all... Figured as much...
Ben, thanks for posting. Interesting!
Seismometers can sense aurora, and we can hear them!
St Elmo’s fire almost offed me up! And there was this comet... hale bopp
I guess Jesus was right when he said the rocks themselves will cry out. I know he didn’t mean magnetism but.....
Good flick. Depressing, but good.
Thanks. Seeing tha northern lights has been on my bucket list for years, haven’t made it yet.
When engineers were designing the Trans-Alaska Pipeline they had to account for the current produced by the Aurora. It is measurable 6” below the surface of the ground and could play havoc with the pipeline sensors that monitored the flow of oil.
When I worked on the North Slope I witnessed the most amazing display of Aurora that I will ever see. I wound up laying on the ground looking straight up. Imagine being inside a glass dome with someone pouring fluorescent green paint over the top of it and it shimmered down to the horizon for 270*. It was +30* and calm so nobody froze that February night.
Thanks! Will ping after travel.
Of all my rotations to the slope, including 5 trips this past winter season I have yet to see them on the slope.
When I started working up there through the winter one of the main reasons was to see the lights.
Good thing there is the upcoming winter season, and beyond.
I’ll keep coming back.
I worked up there for 26 years. Hope it doesn’t take that long for you to see a magnificent display! After Thanksgiving you’ll have plenty of darkness though LOL!
I lived in the Soldotna area for 9 years and saw some amazing displays there too.
I live in north Idaho now and we rarely see the Aurora here. One of the things I miss about not living in Alaska anymore.
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