The Aurora Tube

Strong electrical currents flow towards Earth's poles, causing the aurora. Earth's magnetic field helps shape the aurora into beautiful curtains of light that dance across the night sky. Like the aurora, the glow you see in this tube is caused by a plasma carrying an electrical current. Can you use the magnet to shape this plasma? Move the magnet along the side of the glass tube. Watch how the magnet affects the glowing plasma inside the tube.

  The Space Weather Center is part of the National Space Weather Program, with funding provided by NASA and the National Science Foundation.  

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