First evidence of how auroral beads form
Today’s Video of the Day from NASA Goddard describes a phenomenon in which glowing lights appear across the night sky before a large auroral display.
The lights, which look like a glowing pearl necklace draped from east to west, are referred to as auroral beads.
Scientists have speculated that auroral beads could somehow be connected to disturbances in space or to storms closer to Earth’s atmosphere.
But now, powerful new computer models and observations from NASA’s Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS) mission have provided the first direct evidence of the events that lead up to the appearance of auroral beads.
Video Credit: NASA Goddard