Articles | Volume 39, issue 5
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-39-849-2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-39-849-2021
Regular paper
 | 
24 Sep 2021
Regular paper |  | 24 Sep 2021

Observations of sunlit N2+ aurora at high altitudes during the RENU2 flight

Pål Gunnar Ellingsen, Dag Lorentzen, David Kenward, James H. Hecht, J. Scott Evans, Fred Sigernes, and Marc Lessard

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Latest update: 23 Jun 2024
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Short summary
Using the RENU2 rocket and ground-based instruments, we show that significant parts of the blue aurora above Svalbard at the time of launch were sunlit aurora. A sunlit aurora occurs when nitrogen molecules are ionised by extreme UV sunlight and subsequently hit by electrons from the Sun, resulting in blue and violet emissions. Understanding the source of an auroral emission gives insight into the interaction between the Sun and the Earth's upper atmosphere.