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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  13 Feb 2020

13 Feb 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ANGEO.

An Early Low Latitude Aurora Observed by Rozier (Beziers, 1780)

Chiara Bertolin1, Fernando Domínguez-Castro2,3, and Lavinia de Ferri1 Chiara Bertolin et al.
  • 1Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondeim, 7491, Norway
  • 2ARAID Foundation, 50018, Zaragoza, Spain
  • 3Departamento de Geografía y Ordenación del Territorio, Universidad de Zaragoza, 50009, Zaragoza, Spain

Abstract. Aurorae Observations are an uncommon phenomenon at low latitudes that, at the end of the 18th century was not well known and understood. Low latitude Aurorae observations provide information about episodes of intense solar storms associated with flares and outstanding coronal mass ejection (CME) and on the variation of the geomagnetic field. However, for many observers at low latitude, the features of a northern light were unknown, so he could easily report it as a phenomenon without explanation. In this work, we found that an earlier low latitude aurora was observed in Beausejour, close to Beziers (43°53' N, 3°35' E), France, by the abbot Francois Rozier. He was a meticulous botanist, doctor and agronomist with special interest in atmospheric phenomena. On 15 August 1780, from 20:05 to 20:17 (Universal Time), Francois Rozier observed a phosphoric cloud. A careful analysis of the report points out that he was reporting an auroral event. The recovery of auroral events at low latitude during the 1780's is very useful to shed light to the solar activity during this period because there are few records of sunspot observations.

Chiara Bertolin et al.

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Chiara Bertolin et al.

Chiara Bertolin et al.


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Short summary
Low Latitude Aurorae (LLA) were uncommon phenomenon not well known and understood in 1780. During our historical manuscripts research of high atmospheric phenomena we came across a document reporting an observation done by the abbot Rozier in Beausejour, France, on 15/08/1780. Thanks to the accuracy of his report, we were able to confirm it was a white, with two bands structure LLA. Due to the few existing geomagnetic and solar observations it is a useful new geomagnetic activity proxy data.
Low Latitude Aurorae (LLA) were uncommon phenomenon not well known and understood in 1780....