Welcome to a film Fire in the Sky

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Fire in the Sky, a fresh documentary from the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE, will be screened at Saalasti Hall in Linnanmaa on 12. February 2020 from 14:00 to 16:00. The film describes how solar storms affect the earth.

Attending the event will be the director of the documentary, Simo Sipola of YLE, as well as one of the key figures in the film, director emeritus Esa Turunen. Turunen and new director of Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory Eija Tanskanen will speak at the event on why the aurora borealis, or northern lights, must be studied, what questions the researchers want to get answers to, and how the research is to be conducted.

The film is in two languages - Finnish and English. The event is open and free of charge for students, university staff, and all who are interested in the topic. 

Northern lights, Nature’s most beautiful color show, don’t we already know everything?

YLE's documentary Fire in the sky presents research into the aurora borealis and near space primarily in the words of Finnish researchers. The film explains why bombardment from solar particles can be dangerous to humanity. At worst it can harm satellites, stop air transport, and disable electricity grids and data networks. The film also describes how the aurora borealis changes the chemical composition of the atmosphere. It also affects the temperature of the atmosphere.

Northern Lights is a light phenomenon where upper atmosphere glows as a consequence of electric rain, precipitation of electricity from space. As electrically charged particles collide with atmospheric gases, these in turn emit the colors of Northern Lights - green, red, violet, blue. The electric rain from space is a consequence of space weather disturbances in the Near-Earth Space, due to the activity of our nearest star, the Sun. The upper atmosphere acts as a screen, on which we see the disturbances caused by space weather in the magnetosphere surrounding the Earth, and finally in the atmosphere of Earth. This all with dedicated details we do know well today, in the satellite era. But why should we then make research bout Northern Lights and Space Weather. What do we not know and is this deficient knowledge significant? This will be addressed in the lectures by the Director of Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory, Prof. Eija Tanskanen, and Director Emeritus, Dr. Esa Turunen, who introduce the questions which still need to be answered by the  space scientists and tell about the tools they are using in their work.


Eija Tanskanen: Solar storms shake the Earth. What is it and why should we be worried about it?

Esa Turunen: Research of Northern Lights in Finnish Lapland in the past and today: from the artificial aurora by Selim Lemström to modern research of chemical effects in the atmosphere.


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Event location

Linnanmaa Saalasti Hall

Event address

Pentti Kaiteran katu 1

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Last updated: 15.1.2020