Aurora borealis destroys the planet's ozone layer – scientists

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The depletion of the ozone layer as a result of these events can be significant.

The Northern Lights are an incredible phenomenon that you cannot help but admire. However, scientists have found that it is dangerous because it damages the ozone layer and can have a serious impact on climate change. universities in Japan that analyzed this phenomenon. However, scientists have not yet found the exact reason why the aurora borealis depletes the ozone layer.

Aurora Borealis Research

According to the study, the Sun continually ejects charged particles from its upper layers, which subsequently create the solar wind. These particles crash into the ozone layer and enter the magnetic field surrounding the Earth.

The trapped electrons escape to enter the thermosphere as they interact with plasma waves. This phenomenon, known as precipitation, is responsible for the aurora, but it also depletes the ozone layer. Scientists do not yet know why this is happening.

Observing pulsating auroras

More recently, observations by Japanese scientists have focused on pulsating auroras (PSA), a type of faint aurora. The team coordinated their experiments with the international scientific association EISCAT, the Japanese spacecraft Arase and a network of all-sky cameras.

According to Arase, captured electrons in the Earth's magnetosphere have a wide range of energies. It also indicated the presence of a phenomenon called Alfvén waves, amplifying these particles. Alfvén waves arise in plasma as a result of electromagnetic forces.

Using computer simulations of Arase's observations, it was shown that plasma waves cause precipitation of these electrons. Electrons with a wide range of energies are deposited, causing PSA, and easily penetrate into the Earth's atmosphere. As shown by the analysis of the EISCAT data, these electrons immediately deplete the local zone in the mesosphere when they hit it.

PSA arise almost daily. They spread over large areas and last for hours. The depletion of the ozone layer as a result of these events can be significant,
– with a wave of Professor Yoshizumi Miyoshi.

He added that this is only a case study. Further statistical analysis is needed to understand how much ozone is depleted in the middle atmosphere. This is important, because the influence of this phenomenon on the climate can affect modern life.

Interesting facts about the northern lights

  • The first chronicle mention of the northern lights, which has survived to this day, was made in the 6th century BC.
  • Galileo was the first scientist who began to study this phenomenon.
  • Aurora is not limited to Earth, but also on other planets , in particular Jupiter, Saturn and Venus.
  • Aurora Borealis occurs not only at night, but also during the day, just in the daytime it is not visible to the naked eye.
  • Sometimes it lasts 10 – 20 minutes, and at times it can be observed for 40 – 50 hours in a row.
  • The highest northern lights above the Earth were recorded at an altitude of 643 kilometers.
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