How NASA illuminated the northern lights - Hitecher
Как агентство NASA подсветило северное сияние

How NASA illuminated the northern lights

by Hitecher

The northern lights are rightfully considered to be one of the most beautiful natural phenomena. But how can we make it look even more impressive? NASA thought of one unusual solution and recorded the result on video.

Two Black Brant XI-A probes were used for this unusual operation, launched several minutes apart from a spaceport in the north of Norway. Once the devices reached a certain height, they sprayed a tracer – a quickly dispersing gas. This contributed a special illumination to the northern lights, enhancing the already stunning visual effects.

But all this was planned for more than visual beauty. Scientists are currently actively studying our atmosphere, particularly the way the Earth’s magnetic fields work. After entering the atmosphere, the ejected gas (trimethylaluminum and a mixture of barium and strontium) is ionized, transforming into amazing clouds. This offers scientists a chance to understand the direction of particle flows and the influence of the northern lights and other natural phenomena on our planet.


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