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In the light of the aurora

Optical auroral research in northernmost Europe

image of In the light of the aurora

The aurora, or northern lights, is the most variable light phenomenon in the sky and the result of physical processes taking place in near-Earth space. The colours, shapes, intensities, locations and movements of auroral forms give us information about these processes. Ground-based optical studies are superior for high-resolution measurements and to distinguish temporal and spatial effects. Arctic Europe is a most convenient place to study the aurora. Many instruments and research facilities have been placed here. The Network for Groundbased Optical Auroral Research in the Arctic Region is supported by the Nordic Council of Ministers and consists of all research institutions in northern Norway, Sweden, Finland and on theKola Peninsula active in optical auroral research. This reportintroduces optical aurora and optical research methods, research institutions and research infrastructure. It also describes the activities of the network: workshops, mobility programme and scientific results.

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Research groups

This chapter presents all research groups in northernmost Europe conducting research on optical aurora. All these groups participate in the Network for Groundbased Optical Auroral Research in the Arctic region. The network Partners come from the University Centre on Svalbard, the University of Tromsø, the Swedish Institute of Space Physics in Kiruna, the Department of Physical Sciences at the University of Oulu, Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory (also at the University of Oulu) and the Polar Geophysical Institute in Apatity. Scientists from the Finnish Meteorological Institute in Helsinki and the Royal Institute of Technology have also participated in the network activities as Associated Partners. The map in Figure 8 shows the locations of the participating institutions as well as locations of optical measurement facilities described in Chapter 3.

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