Dangerous Earth

Aurora

Series 1 - Episode 4 Aurora

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Review

This great little series is called Dangerous Earth, so you might wonder why ethereal lights in the sky at our northern and southern poles might be classified as perilous. But, as Dr Helen Czerski points out, their very existence is a threat to much that we take for granted in the modern world.

We know what auroras actually are – charged particles from solar winds react with the Earth’s magnetic field, the resultant energy released as light. We even know why they take certain colours. But there are still mysteries about the form they take. And they’re definitely not harmless: aurora surges have coincided with huge electrical blackouts, and they contributed to the notorious failure of the Skylab space station. Who knows what they’re doing to our GPS and communications satellites…

Summary

Dr Helen Czerski examines the latest scientific insight into auroras - dancing lights in the night sky that have fascinated cultures throughout history.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Helen Czerski
Director Ben Wilson
Executive Producer Zoe Heron
Producer Ben Wilson
Documentary