Aurora Forms Huge Hole in the Ozone Layer of the Earth

Aurora Forms Huge Hole in the Ozone Layer of the Earth

The northern lights offer an amazing celestial spectacle. Although the phenomenon is visible only when it’s dark outside, it can occur at any time. During an aurora, the magnetic field of the Earth gets distorted.

A certain type of aurora is also causing the ozone layer’s depletion – the isolated proton aurora, to be more precise. According to, an international research team discovered that the isolated proton aurora is to blame for a huge hole forming in the ozone layer. The hole measures about 250 miles wide. The evidence is pretty strong, as the hole formed below the place of formation of the aurora. 

Kazuo Shiokawa, who is a professor at Nagoya University’s Institute for Space-Earth Environmental Research, explained:

Researchers from a wide range of research fields related to plasma physics, aurora science, trace atmospheric composition sensing, and electromagnetic wave engineering were brought together to achieve comprehensive observations through international cooperation.

He also added, as the same source quotes:

Isolated proton auroras can be observed by scientific all-sky cameras,

Although it is a rather weak aurora, it is also visible to a regular person.

Until now, scientists weren’t aware of the influence of charged particles from the plasma provided by coronal mass ejections and solar flares. Such particles can affect the ozone layer. 

The ozone layer refers to the high concentration of ozone located in the stratosphere, meaning around 15 to 30 km above the surface of the Earth.

The word ‘ozone’ comes from the Greek language, and it means ‘smelly’ because of the strong odor of the gas. 

Auroras don’t emerge only on our planet. For instance, they can also appear on Jupiter, the biggest planet in our Solar System. The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) proved it back in August when it published photos of Jupiter and its glowing and beautiful auroras.


Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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