The aurora borealis is formed in a region called the aurora belt around the magnetic north pole (located at 78.6°N, 70.5°W), at a "magnetic latitude" of 65-70°. Iceland and Japan's Showa Station in Antarctica are located below the aurora borealis and australis belts, respectively. Despite the vast distances that separate them, however, people in both locations can see similar auroras at the same time, since they are generated along the same magnetic lines. Sometimes the auroras are mirror images of each other, looking like a whirlpool as seen in a mirror, but often the two do not much resemble each other.
Circling in an elliptical orbit high above the earth, aurora observation satellites record images of the aurora from above. These images exhibit the aurora generated during the day, which cannot be viewed from the earth's surface, providing a view of the entire aurora. The ring in which the aurora forms is called the aurora oval. At night, this oval roughly corresponds with the aurora belt, but during the daytime it contracts to a position inside the belt, at a magnetic latitude of 75-80℃. The NSR region along the Eurasian coast lies below the aurora belt, so outside of the arctic-day season, if the weather conditions are right, the NSR will be an ideal place to enjoy the aurora.
Life on earth would be impossible without the magnetosphere: It prevents plasma and deep-space radiation from reaching the earth's surface. However, the plasma guided along the earth's magnetic lines and ejected on the side of the earth opposite the sun has a dramatic effect on short-wave transmissions, maritime wireless communications and even high-voltage power lines. In the event of a major solar flare, the aurora becomes highly excited and the magnetosphere is deformed. These large fluctuations in the earth's magnetism are called magnetic storms. Magnetic storms create an induced current along power lines and oil pipelines under the aurora, and have been known to overheat transformers in Canada, causing massive power failures, and to corrode oil pipelines in Alaska and Siberia. Because the NSR is directly within the aurora zone, a strong magnetic storm could render satellite positioning and satellite broadcast of ice-flow data inoperative, and even damage electronic equipment aboard vessels.
3.1.4 The Ozone Hole at the North Pole and the Increase in Harmful UV Radiation
Most of the ozone (O3) in the earth's atmosphere is concentrated in the stratosphere. The greatest concentration is found at an altitude of 20-30km, where ozone levels are ten times the concentration at the surface. This zone is called the ozone layer. The ozone layer completely envelops the earth, protecting it from harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
In the 1970s, scientists indicated that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) had the capacity to completely eliminate the ozone layer.