Riley Troyer: Doctoral student helps describe new type of aurora

In a new study, physicists led by the University of Iowa report a new feature to Earth's atmospheric light show. Examining video taken nearly two decades ago, the researchers describe multiple instances where a section of the diffuse aurora-the faint, background-like glow accompanying the more vivid light commonly associated with auroras-goes dark, as if scrubbed by a giant blotter. Then, after a short period of time, the blacked-out section suddenly reappears.

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