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The beautiful aurorae, or northern lights, are the stuff of legends. The ancient stories of the Sami people warn that if you mock the lights they will seize you, and their mythical appeal continues to capture the hearts and imagination of people across the globe.
Aurora explores the visual beauty, ancient myths and science of the northern lights and challenges the popular theory of how the lights are formed. Plasma physicist Melanie Windridge explains this extraordinary and evocative phenomenon, a scientific marvel unlike any other in which the powers of astronomy, geology, magnetism and atomic physics combine to create one of the wonders of the natural world.
As Melanie travels in search of the perfect aurora, she uncovers the scientific realities of this plasmic phenomenon full of natural power. She combines the science behind the lights with a fascinating travelogue as she pursues the aurora across the northern hemisphere – from the Arctic Circle to Scotland.
‘Spell-binding … a brilliant blend of auroral science, polar exploration, Sami heritage and folklore … full of wonders.’ The Simple Things
‘Her greatest strength is her ability to illuminate science for the lay person.’ Literary Review
‘Her enthusiasm for all things aurora is, ultimately, infectious and there will be something of interest here for anyone with even a passing curiosity in this remarkable natural phenomenon’ The Times Literary Supplement
About the author
Dr Melanie Windridge is a plasma physicist, lecturer and writer with a taste for adventure. She has a PhD in fusion energy and is Business Development Manager for fusion start-up Tokamak Energy, as well as working in education with the Ogden Trust, Anturus and Your Life. Melanie loves the mountains and believes science and exploration go hand in hand.