What’s on : Lectures

Decoding the Northern Lights

20 Oct 2022
Start time
7:00 PM
The Yorkshire Museum
Dr Maria Walach, University of Lancaster
Decoding the Northern Lights

Event Information

“Decoding the Northern Lights”

Dr Maria Walach, University of Lancaster, FRAS


“99% of the visible universe is made up of plasma, the fourth state of matter. Plasma is generated when gases are energised. This process constantly happens in Earth’s atmosphere and it means plasma is abundant in geospace, the part of space which is engulfed by Earth’s magnetic field. When plasma is accelerated along the magnetic field and interacts with the atmosphere, one of the most impressive and well-known natural light shows on Earth is generated: the aurora.

In this talk I will explain how the aurora is generated and how we measure and study it. The dynamics in the auroral intensity and locations can tell us a lot about geospace and whilst it is beautiful, the electric fields generated by the moving plasma have consequences for our modern lives.”

This lecture will be held in the Tempest Anderson Lecture Theatre in the Yorkshire Museum, York at 7pm.