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NASA实习生发现由地磁风暴引起的新型北极光

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2020年01月14日

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NASA intern discovers new type of northern lights caused by geomagnetic storm

NASA实习生发现由地磁风暴引起的新型北极光

A NASA intern has discovered a strange and unexpected type of northern lights.

美国国家航空航天局的一名实习生发现了一种奇怪的、意想不到的北极光。

The physics student was looking over three-year-old sky observations from all-sky cameras in Svakbard, Norway, when she spotted the famous natural lights moving in a never-before seen spiral.

这名物理学专业的学生,在挪威斯瓦克巴德(Svakbard)用全天空摄像机观察三年前的天空时,发现著名的自然光以从未见过的螺旋状移动。

This newly observed spiral motion is said to make the lights look similar to a seashell.

据说,这种新发现的螺旋运动使光线看起来像贝壳。

People travel from far and wide to try and get a good glimpse of the aurora borealis, also known as the northern lights.

人们从四面八方赶来,想要一睹北极光的风采。

They are famed for being a greenish celestial spectacle dancing in the sky and are best observed in places like Norway and Finland.

它们以在天空中舞动的绿色天空奇观而闻名,在挪威和芬兰等地最适合观赏。

美国宇航局实习生发现由地磁风暴引起的新型北极光

Each light display is known as an aurora and they are also referred to as the southern lights and polar lights, depending on where they are observed.

每一个光显示被称为极光,它们也被称为南极光和极地光,这取决于它们被观察到的地方。

Pepperdine University physics student Jennifer Briggs spotted the oddly twisting aurora while interning at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland.

佩珀代因大学物理系的学生珍妮弗·布里格斯在马里兰州NASA戈达德太空飞行中心实习时,发现了奇怪的极光。

What makes them even more unusual is that the footage she spotted them on was recorded at a time of relatively calm space weather.

让它们更不寻常的是,她发现它们的镜头是在太空天气相对平静的时候拍摄的。

Solar eruptions normally cause auroral activity when energetic particles speed from the sun and react in the Earth’s atmosphere.

当高能粒子从太阳加速并在地球大气中发生反应时,太阳爆发通常会引起极光活动。

However, the twisting motions of the aurora and other data from NASA radars on the ground in Norway have indicated that something else caused the unusual light display.

然而,极光的扭转运动和来自挪威地面上美国宇航局雷达的其他数据表明,是其他原因导致了这种不寻常的光显示。

Briggs presented her findings at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco.

布里格斯在旧金山举行的美国地球物理联盟会议上发表了她的发现。

She explained how a dramatic compression of the Earth’s magnetosphere was observed in data collected around the same time as the unusual light display.

她解释了地球磁气圈的剧烈压缩是如何在与不寻常的光显示同时收集的数据中被观察到的。

Briggs said: “You can imagine someone punching Earth’s magnetic field.

布里格斯说:“你可以想象有人击打地球的磁场。”

“There was a massive, but localized compression.”

“这是一次大规模的局部压缩。”

She added: “Not only have we never seen a compression of this intensity, we’ve never even predicted one.”

她补充道:“我们不仅从未见过这种强度的压缩,甚至从未预测过。”

Nasa researchers think the type of compression that caused it only happened over the single Norwegian island.

美国国家航空航天局的研究人员认为,造成这种情况的压缩类型只发生在挪威的一个岛屿上。

They think it may have been caused by a geomagnetic storm happening for the first time in an area of the Earth’s magnetosphere called the foreshock.

他们认为,这可能是由于在地球磁气圈的前震区域首次发生的地磁暴引起的。

This is why the new type of celestial light display is being called a “foreshock aurora”.

这就是为什么这种新的天体光显示被称为“前震极光”的原因。


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