This volume surveys our current scientific understanding of the terrestrial aurora. It is organized into eleven reviews detailing theoretical and observational aspects of characteristic auroral morphologies, and how these in turn are organized according to local time, latitude, and activity level.
Popular descriptions often attribute the aurora to the interaction of charged particles from the solar wind with atoms in the upper atmosphere. In fact, most auroras are not the result of direct entry of solar wind particles. Rather, as detailed in this volume, auroral particle acceleration and generation of auroral forms occur primarily within the magnetosphere. Importantly, many key aspects of the aurora - most notably, the physical mechanisms responsible for the generation of discrete arcs - are still unexplained, and auroral physics continues to be an active area of scientific research. Each review chapter therefore includes a summary of open questions for further investigation.
|Bewerker||David J. , Knudsen, Joseph E. , Borovsky, Tomas , Karlsson|