Science for Alaska lecture series: Satellites to cell phones – New ways of understanding the aurora

Photo of Doğacan Ozturk
Photo courtesy of the UAF Geophysical Institute
Photo of Doğacan Ozturk

The UAF Geophysical Institute presents the 31st annual Science for Alaska lecture series and events.

The Geophysical Institute will host free public talks at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays about tracking space debris, fostering education using the outdoors, new techniques for understanding aurora, the 1964 Great Alaska Earthquake, and climate change and its effects on Alaska’s wildlife. The talks will be held live at the Schaible Auditorium, 323 Tanana Loop at UAF. To join virtually, register to watch on Zoom or join live from the UAF or Geophysical Institute Facebook pages.

On Tuesday, Feb. 21, Doğacan Su Öztürk will present “Satellites to Cell Phones: New Ways of Understanding the Aurora.”

Auroras, bright displays of light across the night sky at high-latitudes, occur when charged particles collide with neutral particles at Earth’s upper atmosphere. Although the conditions that lead to seeing the aurora are fairly well understood, the physical processes behind different types of vibrant auroras are not. As a result, computer models are unable to reproduce the auroral forms at different locations and times, making reliable aurora forecasting difficult.

With the ever-increasing computational resources, new space-borne missions and ground-based experiments, and new methods of using everyday tools, we now have many exciting and accessible opportunities to investigate the aurora.

This talk will review current methods and introduce new approaches that help us understand the various aurora forms and how they affect Earth’s upper atmosphere.

For more information visit or the @UAF.GI Facebook event page, or call 907-474-7787.

Talks are free and for the public. All ages are encouraged to attend.