Northern Lights with Five Satellites
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Athabasca's contribution to studying the science of the Northern Lights started nearly 10 years ago with precision measurement of their magnetic fields. We now measure that effect in a number of places in North America linked by internet. In 2002 we made the step forward to taking images of the northern lights and discovered that there is a special kind over Athabasca, measured by our Japanese colleagues. In 2007, NASA launched the 5 THEMIS satellites, and their data can be used along with data from the ground to study the origins of the Northern Lights in space. Athabasca itself has grown in this period, and our formerly dark site is now lit up too much to permit proper observations. We hope to get funding for construction of a new and improved Athabasca University Geophysical Observatory, to be built next year in a more remote and darker location.