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Aurora australis - the science of the southern lights

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BLT100 lecture theatre, Building 106

Old Biology Building

University of Auckland, 5 Symonds Street

Auckland

New Zealand

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Understanding aurora australis – the science of the southern lights
+ live link to Scott Base for an update on the aurora this winter!

Aurora is one of nature's wonders - and is caused by processes which start on the Sun 150 million km from Earth. It is common in the polar regions, but during disturbed periods will be seen closer to the equator; in extreme cases, potentially reaching Auckland. Auroral research at Scott Base dates back to the days of Captain Scott.

Speakers:
• Professor Craig Rodger, space weather scientist, University of Otago
• Jonny Harrison, Winter Leader, Scott Base Antarctica, Antarctica New Zealand (live via satellite); currently in his second consecutive winter-over!

Craig is the Head of Otago University's Physics Department, and the leader of their Space Physics Research group. He works with both space-based and ground based data, and has experiments located in the Antarctic and Arctic. Over the last 11 years he has travelled to Scott Base three times. Craig will explain how the magnificent auroral displays form in the polar night sky.

In a live link with Scott Base during the presentation, we will also talk with Jonny Harrison, who is the Winter Leader at the station. Jonny has shared many amazing pictures of aurora during the long Antarctic night, both this winter and last year (including the stunning 'halo' aurora above). With some luck, we may be able to see some aurora live, and at the very least, have Jonny share his stories behind some of his beautiful pictures, with Craig on hand to add the science.

Photo: “A halo of aurora australis above Mt Erebus and Mt Terror on Ross Island #Antarctica. In the sky above, Scorpius and Sagittarius, with Jupiter and Mars either side.”
taken at Scott Base, during the winter of 2018, by Jonny Harrison, Antarctica New Zealand

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BLT100 lecture theatre, Building 106

Old Biology Building

University of Auckland, 5 Symonds Street

Auckland

New Zealand

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