Be a rocket citizen scientist!
Pulsating aurora is one of the quirkiest and most mysterious auroral forms. It dances often but is less frequently caught on camera due to its dimness and timing. Because auroras reveal invisible structures and pulsating auroras are caused by electrons with huge amounts of energy, pulsating auroras are important for studying how our planet gets energy from space.
The LAMP mission aims to shed light on the science behind this phenomenon with a rocket mission—and would welcome you to take part in rocket citizen science!
There are several ways to participate:
- What do you want to know about the science of pulsating aurora? Science questions are the foundation of research, and the team wants to hear what piques your curiosity. This month (February 2022), you can submit your questions on Twitter by tagging both @LAMP_rocket and @tweetaurora, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will do our best to answer the question, explain why it is a mystery, and/or see if LAMP might be able to help solve the puzzle!
- If you are an aurora photographer anywhere aurora is visible and are interested in photographing pulsating aurora, you can help by submitting your observations to aurorasaurus.org. Pulsating auroras can cover enormous areas, so scientists can use multiple observations to triangulate measurements and look at a structure from different angles. Photographic observations with your location, when you see it, and how broad an area it covers are important, even if the rocket isn’t launching that night. The timescales of pulsating aurora movement are difficult to capture, so timelapses with as short a time as possible are ideal.
- Bonus mission (should you choose to accept it): The shapes and on/off nature of the pulsating aurora can create some curious forms. Can you capture the weirdest structures? We will send Aurorasaurus bumper stickers to the 3 people with the most scientifically intriguing photos!
Follow the mission’s Twitter for real-time launch updates and nightly blog for more information. Check out Aurorasaurus for more aurora citizen science, and our blog post about LAMP and pulsating aurora to learn more!