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Monday, December 5, 2016

Northern Lights seen near the town of Salekhard, Russia

Hopes of a spectacular aurora light show visible from across the UK were dashed after scientists revealed that a “massive spike” in magnetic field data was triggered by a groundskeeper’s sit-on lawnmower

AuroraWatch UK issued an alert after a magnetometer at Lancaster University detected unusually high geomagnetic activity.  
An automated email claiming the aurora would be visible nationwide was sent out to fans as soon as the bogus reading was made.
But when the scientists realised it was a false alarmthey jumped on Facebook to explain the situation to their followers. 
It turned out that the data was skewed by university staff mowing a nearby patch of lawn.
Later in the day, a spokesperson wrote online: “We believe the interference was caused by University staff mowing the grass on a sit-on mower.
“We’ll work with the facilities team to try and avoid an incident such as this occurring in the future!”
The project pulls data from sensors in Lancaster, Aberdeen, the Faroe Islands and further afield and is operated by researchers at Lancaster.
The alert system normally relies on readings made by a sensor in Crooktree, Aberdeen. But that sensor had also been playing up, so the scientists deferred to their local magnetometer.
“Unfortunately, it seems our back-up needed a back-up,” the spokesperson wrote. 

Aurora in Russia

Lawnmower Triggers Nationwide Northern Lights Alert 26 August 2016

Red Aurora June 25, 2015

Smiling Sun December 5, 2016

1 comment:

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