Engaging aurora enthusiasts & communities in fun citizen science w/NASA experts.

A woman raises her hands joyfully toward a colorful aurora
Christy Turner Photography

Team Mission

You can participate in aurora participatory science with Aurorasaurus. This award-winning project generates a real-time, global map of auroras via reports on its website. Each report serves as a valuable data point for scientists to analyze and incorporate into space weather models. The project has made a number of discoveries in collaboration with participatory scientists and the scientific community. For example, Aurorasaurus published the first scientific study of STEVE (Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement), an aurora-like phenomenon that appears closer to the equator and flows from east to west. Aurorasaurus also conducts outreach and education across the globe, often through partnerships with local groups of enthusiasts. Aurorasaurus is a research project that is a public-private partnership with the New Mexico Consortium supported by the National Science Foundation and NASA.

It is heartwarming to share the excitement about the aurora with like-minded people from all walks of life around the world. My hobby is taking aurora photos, but when I found out that I could contribute to its study and be a citizen scientist….It gave me something to look for inside the aurora. It connected me to the academic scientists with a bond that is rewarding for both sides. —Donna Lach, aurora chaser, Manitoba, Canada

Donna Lach

Donna Lach

Aurora chaser, Manitoba, Canada

What does your team hope to achieve?

Engage aurora enthusiast communities with the scientific process through citizen science and NASA subject matter experts Generate informal educational materials, activities, and resources that help translate the complex science of the aurora to be more accessible to students and the general public Forge and develop high-impact partnerships with organizations both within and beyond the SciAct ecosystem Strive toward a collaborative, community-based model of engagement that advances scientific research while respecting, empowering, and benefiting local communities

One night in 2015, I saw on that many in my area were seeing aurora. That night, I captured my first aurora photo. Because of citizen science, I was hooked—and since then, aurora chasing and studying the elusive lights have become a way of life for me….As a student intern, I collaborated with Aurorasaurus to spearhead the North Dakota Dual Aurora Camera (NoDDAC) project, which aims to provide live views of the night sky and detect any auroras that may occur in North Dakota.

Vincent Ledvina

Vincent Ledvina

Physics student, University of North Dakota

The Aurorasaurus project, the ambassador community, and the team…are a bridge between the research community and the enthusiast community, making each more accessible to the other….Aurorasaurus supports and catalyzes work that otherwise may have not found its voice in the research and citizen science community.

Jeremy Kuzub

Jeremy Kuzub

Data visualization specialist and creator of KpFox

Project Websites