Illuminating Tweets: Northern Lights Tracked via Twitter

By: Maria Vargas

The northern lights are caused by a mass expulsion from the sun. These solar storms send a stream of charged particles toward Earth. Our planet’s magnetic field deflects these particles creating a wind filled with particles. The different colors of the aurora are caused by the various gasses in the atmosphere. The most common colors seen are green and red aurora lights which are formed from collisions with oxygen.

Spotting the aurora borealis have been getting easier thanks to Twitter. People have been getting so amused by these lights that they stay up all night to track them down. Tweets provide accurate and timely alerts on the appearance on auroras. Many scientists such as one from NASA, monitors the auroral activity through tweets. Another famous tracking website is Auroasaurus.org. Fanatics can download it via the app store and follow up with aurora sightings. There people can post photos and receive real-time aurora alerts. The website also scans tweets that are aurora reports and posts it in the website.

aureo borealis

Source: http://www.livescience.com/50840-mapping-aurora-from-twitter.html

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