Dr. MacDonald's Aurora Research Featured

Dr. Liz MacDonald, a plasma physicist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD is featured in a Union-Bulletin article. Liz researches the aurora borealis, the beautiful light show caused by electrically charged particles released from the sun colliding with gases such as oxygen and nitrogen in our atmosphere. These lights are seen around the magnetic poles of the northern and southern hemispheres.

As a LANL team leader and New Mexico Consortium-affiliated researcher in 2013, Liz worked on instruments that measure plasma in the near-Earth space environment. She gave a talk there on the Northern Lights and how Los Alamos researchers study space plasma, build satellite instruments and using social media to predict auroras. 

Liz founded the first citizen science website, Aurorasaurus, to use social media to predict the Northern Lights during the current solar maximum.

The article goes over Liz's background in science, her research experience and areas of expertise. Liz also spoke on the poplular NPR program Science Friday back in May 2017 where she compared the aurora to "glitter bombs". 

To read more see the Union-Bulletin article, Of Celestial 'Glitter Bombs' and Scientific Research. 

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