Auroral Zone

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Auroral Zone

A roughly circular band around either geomagnetic pole

above which there is a maximum of auroral activity. It lies about 10 to 15° of geomagnetic latitude from the geomagentic poles.
The auroral zone broadens and extends equatorward during intense auroral displays. The northern auroral zone is centered along a line passing near Point Barrow, Alaska, through the lower half of Hudson Bay, slightly off the southern tip of Greenland, through Iceland, northern Norway and northern Siberia. Along this line auroras are seen on an average of 240 nights a year. The frequency of auroras falls off both to the north and to the south of this line but more rapidly to the south. The most severe blackouts occur in the auroral zone.


This article is based on NASA's Dictionary of Technical Terms for Aerospace Use