Simulation of Auroras
August 21, 2013 1:38 PM Subscribe
posted by dhruva (2 comments total)
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"The planeterrella is inspired by experiments carried out at the turn of the last century by the Norwegian physicist, Kristian Birkeland
, who first described how the Northern Lights were caused by the solar wind’s interaction with the Earth’s magnetic field. In a series of experiments, Birkeland aimed a beam of electrons at a magnetized sphere (terrella) inside a glass vacuum chamber and succeeded in recreating the ethereal glow of the aurora
(video in french) at the sphere’s poles."
The linked site recreates and redefines Birkland's experiments, in a series of studies led by Jean Lilensten. NASA's Langely research centre has a planeterrella as well.