Aurorae Data

Visual aurorae data from DMSP are no longer available via the Satellite Archive Browse and Retrieval (SABR) system


Aurorae (All ftp)

Aurora is electromagnetic radiation emitted primarily from the interaction of energetic, extra-atmospheric particles with the neutral gases of the upper atmosphere. These emissions extend from the ultraviolet to the infrared. The portion of the emitted electromagnetic radiation that is visible to the human eye is referred to as the visual aurora. The visible aurora are due primarily to the interaction of energetic particles with the oxygen and nitrogen gases of the upper atmosphere. The important emissions in the visible region are the discrete green (5577A) and red (6300-6364A) lines of atomic oxygen and the molecular bands of ionized molecular nitrogen in the blue and neutral molecular nitrogen in the red regions of the spectrum.

In addition to the DMSP satellite data, NGDC has some data products useful for educational purposes. These include a slide set of 52 images (black & white) from the DMSP satellite data collection showing different auroral formations on them. A detailed description is available for the different slides. Another slide set of 20 color images shows the Auroras Australis (Southern Lights). For more information about predicting aurora, please visit the website for the Geophysical Institute, Alaska. They and their links include information about the best times and locations to see aurora in Alaska.

1. Catalogue of Data on Solar-Terrestrial Physics, Report UAG-30, World Data Center A for Solar-Terrestrial Physics, published October 1973 -- Inventory of data holdings on Solar and Interplanetary Phenomena, Ionospheric Phenomena, Flare-Associated Events, Geomagnetic Phenomena, Aurora, Cosmic Rays, and Airglow 2. Collected Data Reports on August 1972 Solar-Terrestrial Events Report UAG-28 Table of Contents (pdf)
  • includes some papers on auroral activity during the August 1972 time period
3. Solar Activity, Aurorae and Climate in Central Europe in the Last 1000 Years & Editor's Notes (text) by L. Krivsky and K. Pejml (1988), Publication of the Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences Publication No. 75