Class Resource for PX2011 & PX3013 (2007/08)


Astronomy magazine site has a lot of factual information on the aurora and its history of study


wikipedia has in depth description and analysis as well as detailed images of aurora borealis and aurora australis


Richard Davidson





Auroras are natural colored light displays, which are usually observed in the night sky, particularly in the polar zone. Some scientists therefore call them "polar auroras" (or "aurorae polaris").


In northern latitudes, it is known as the aurora borealis.


Gary Catto - Wikipedia article on the aurora, has pretty much everything you need to know, pictures, video and a whole bunch of references at the bottom - Original Aurora prediction/observation site, it has an Aurora forecast so you know when it will be visible in Aberdeen


Alicia Mason




I chose this (like everyone else will probably do) because wikipedia is so much more accurate, current and understandable than other encylopedia's available. It contains more than you'd ever need or want to know about the Aurora. It's also free.


Atmospheric Optics:


This is quite an good site, not only does it provide information on the physics behind the aurora and has lots of pictures of it, but if you look at other sections it has loads of other wierd optical stuff with explanations such as shadows, green bits above the sunset, ice halos and gravity waves etc.


Stuart Forsyth


The topic I have chosen is the Aurora.  More commonly called the Northern Lights in the Northern Hemisphere.  The first webpage I have chosen accounts the first recorded sighting of the phenomena throughout history.

It tells of what these people thought the Aurora actually was and the website goes onto explain exactly how this phenomena occurs over both South and North poles.  It also explains to us what the signifcance of the Earth’s magnetic field on the Aurora is and how this Space Weather effects other things on Earth.


My first source is a dependable source as it comes from a well published and prestiged Astronomy Journal called Astronomy magazine.  The information found here can be cross referenced with other authentic Scientific websites such as NASA and the BBC.


My second web link I have chosen as it details photographs of the Aurora.

I have seen many photos of the Aurora and have seen the Aurora from experience, but what makes this website interesting is that for the first time we get to see the Aurora photographed from Space.  It shows visually what the first web page explains to the reader and I think it is a great tool for understanding the workings of the Aurora for visual learners as well as literary learners.


This second source is also dependable as it comes from Michigan Tech University a leading University for Astronomers.


Graham R Carle


Aurora forecast

The page belongs to the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alska. 

It shows maps of the areas where auroras are visible. (Sometimes ever Aberdeen is within this area.) It also provides some background information, a solar wind plot and useful links to other pages.


Auroras on Mars

Auroras have been seen on most of the planets in our system but not on mars until Mars Express got there. This article published in nature reports about the mission and the aurora discovered.


Michael Lupberger


Cassini-Huygens Mission


The official website for the Cassini-Huygens mission


holds information that is both interactive and engaging and is balanced with a wide selection of different forms of media ensuring that when you visit the site you do not become bored with plain, standard text.


A periodical website the The New Scientist’s website :-


not only gives you a brief overview of relevant information involving the Cassini-Huygens mission, but also provides links to other websites that go into depth on the Cassini-Huygens missions intended targets. Most importantly the website is impartial ensuring that the information provided is not biased towards any one area, unlike that which is provided by the NASA website.


J. Gedge


The Cassini-Huygens home page

( the officail site for the mission. It tells you everything you need to know about the mission and the spacecraft and provides plenty of multimedia allowing you to explore thousands of images and dozens of videos.



The European Space Agency webpage for the Cassini-Huygens mission ( a useful website that describes the mission and has information about Titan and Saturn that the mission has uncovered.


James Warren


This is a repute and scientific website, meaning that any information found should be reliable. It provides plenty of information on the Cassini mission giving detailed data on the instruments involved and the timeline of the mission. What is interesting is that the website provides actual pictures taken during the mission.


Again this website is a creditable source coming from the European Space Agency. It has a number of related articles to the Cassini mission but also links to other interesting sites. The web page is easy to use and gives information not only on the Cassini mission but also on Titan and Saturn.


Christopher Freeman



( This site has some simple facts and figures about the cassini-huygens mission,with information on the launch,journey and a description of the mission.


( This sire has a coiuple of wonderfull photos taken by the cassini-huygens spacecraft with information on titan and its flyby of Venus.





Composition of the solar wind


The home page for the Genisis: Search for Origins probe launched 8/8/2001.

Informative and friendly page about the probe. Its main goal was to collect samples of the particals in the solar wind and return them to earth. which it was very successful in doing.


An informative report about the solar wind, its composition, and the instramentation used to measure it. Very high standard as it is an academic report.




The Composition of Solar Wind


This website ( ), gives an introduction on solar wind theme. It gives a simple definition about the topic and shows the different phenomena related directly to the solar wind.

It gives a brief history about the first person, Kristian Birkeland, to study and successfully predict this incredible phenomena, as well as the effects of solar wind on other planets.


This link ( ), gives a more detailed explanation of solar wind and its composition.

It gives a brief introduction on the topic, what originates from solar wind composition (solar corona), and other points. It gives some of the properties of the solar wind and solar wind instrumentation, as well as some references for a more deep research.


Have Fun,

Mario Contreiras Sa


The home page for the Genisis: Search for Origins probe launched 8/8/2001.

Informative and friendly page about the probe. Its main goal was to collect samples of the particals in the solar wind and return them to earth. which it was very successful in doing.


An informative report about the solar wind, its composition, and the instramentation used to measure it. Very high standard as it is an academic report.




Composition of Comets


Comets have low density, low velocities and fluffy.

Comets are considered to be “virginal” in that they might have elements from before the big bang or formation of the solar system.

Because there is low gravity affect, a coma (the tail part) is produced when it is near the sun, which may extend millions of kilometers.


Kant thought comet was “composed of some volatile substance”

Other discriptions were described as “A "gravel bank" model of comet structure arose, according to which comets consist of loose piles of small rocky objects, coated with an icy layer.” In 1950, Fred Lawrence Whipple proposed that rather than being rocky objects containing some ice, comets were icy objects containing some dust and rock.[30] This "dirty snowball"

model soon became accepted.


Comets may contain crystalline grains. It is not a “loosely cemented rubble.” It is unsure if there is water. The water is most likely hidden under the crust, or dried out by solar heating.


Christine Baver



Cosmic Rays  this gives an introduction to what exactly are cosmic rays.  It has easy to follow links with clear headings.  this is a very graphic website with colourfull images.  It gives detailed explanations of cosmic rays with good examples.  It is also part of the NASA website.


Iffah Zainuddin


The internet encyclopedia Wikipedia

( has a good introduction of what cosmic rays are, moving towards detailed descriptions of how cosmic rays are created, along with the history of their discovery.


The University of Utah site ( focusses on the topic of cosmic rays, and their mystery. There is information about their discovery, and details of the University’s involvement with research into this stellar phenomena.



Iain More


Cosmic rays are energized particles orinated from space which strikes the earths atmosphere. Is made of 90% photon, 9% are helium nuclei and about1% are electron. The termray is a misnomer, because cosmica particles arrive individually, not in forms of ray.




Past observations indicated that supernovas speed up electrons, which constitute a less common type of cosmic ray. However, evidence of proton acceleration had been "elusive" until now, says Romero.


False colour images


NASA ( explains in simple words what false colour images are, and how they are used by Landsat satellites to present images of the world.


Harvard ( uses false colour images to look at events in space with the Chandra X-ray Observatory. This site shows some pictures of that.


Annekatrien Debien


The encyclopaedic site wikipedia

( Has a very readable and explanatory description on the topic of false colour images



The website ( gives good examples and images of false colours


David Mande






Historical comets


The web site has various pages dedicated to historical comets. It contains their names, dates seen, thumbnail and also lager pictures of the comets 


The web sites contains lots of information on comets with a specific link to a page decicated to the historical background of comets.  Also very interesting is the page on comets in ancient cultures which kind of relates to historical comets


Matthias Sasso




This site provides up to date images and measurements of the ionosphere and also provides a history of the discovery of knowledge relating to the ionosphere.


This is a great site, it provides a full and of a very high standard as it is an academic site. It continues to descibe the make up of the ionosphere and also discusses the aurora.


David Clark



Lagrange points


The ESA web site gives a description of what a Lagrange point is, and where they are in the Sun - Earth System.


The wikipedia site has a list of space vehicles using, or planning to use Lagrange points, with links to further information on them.


Gy Harness


The Lagrangian points are the five positions in an orbital configuration where a small object affected only by gravity can theoretically be stationary relative to two larger objects.


Gary Catto


The ESA website

contains some interesting simulations of satellites at the Lagrangian points.


Site has a coloured contour map showing the relative stabilities of the five points.


Tim Ambrose


Magnetic storm effects


Shows areas of coverage, has details and figures concentrating on the UK.

Shows electric field strength on a mapped area using GIS that you can zoom in on choosen areas.


Lisa Tannock


The site “Storms in Space” provides a readable introduction to the causes, detection and effects of magnetic storms in space, alongside a few images of the Earth’s magnetosphere before and after increased magnetic activity originating from the Sun. The site provides a couple of links to some major satellites such as SOHO, WIND and POLAR.


The “NOVA – Magnetic Storm” homepage has a “Gallery of Auroras”, providing an excellent collection of images of the effects of magnetic storms observed from Earth. There is also an interactive section, where you can view a short animation to help visualise the switching of the Earth’s magnetic field (a natural phenomenon occuring approximately every 11 years).




Stephanie Stevenson


The Free Encyclopedia "Wikipedia"


has very useful information about Magnetic Storms such as: introduction to the Topic; as weel as suitable informtion about these Storms.


This second site (, have the prediction software where we can see how is the magnetic storms effects on earth.


Henio Alberto






Wikipedia ( gives quite a short definition but has links to related definitions. This site is quite a widely used resource.


This website

( gives a more detailed definition with more links to other definitions


Craig Davies


Plasma Oscillations

Not a website as such that you can get a fudged view or that you get to use little gizmos and links.  A well noted article from a reputable website that appears well informed and gives an interesting and pragmatic view that covers most of the subject covered in the lectures. Nae bad.

A second report that shows the application of the above around Mars and how it affects the planet.  Otherwise the NASA website also provides the actual report of that mission on another page. Ok for further reading.


Andrew Smith


Schumann resonance


The Schumann resonance (SR) is a set of spectrum peaks in the extremely low frequency (ELF) portion of the Earth's electromagnetic field spectrum.

Schumann resonances are global electromagnetic resonances, excited by lightning discharges in the cavity formed by the Earth surface and the ionosphere.



This website links the Schumann Resonances and Human Psychobiology and how the first as some influence in the seconf one.


Extracted from Nexus Magazine, Volume 10, Number 3 (April-May 2003) PO Box 30, Mapleton Qld 4560 Australia.


Sergio Bras


Solar cells

The website ‘how stuff works’( provides a basic introduction on the science behind solar cells. Also included are sections detailling costs and powering a house.


The website ( gives an interesting page on solar cells ( which features information on the history, structure and operation of cells plus a crisply presented diagram.


Nicholas Stevens