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  • Letter
  • Open Access

Understanding the “SEKKI” phenomena in Japanese historical literatures based on the modern science of low-latitude aurora

Earth, Planets and Space201456:BF03353323

  • Received: 24 August 2004
  • Accepted: 13 December 2004
  • Published:


“SEKKI” phenomena often appear in the Japanese historical literatures as distinct red emission in the nocturnal sky. The Japanese word “SEKKI” means the red atmosphere. We compile 16 events of SEKKI for 12–19th centuries in the literatures. In order to understand the SEKKI phenomena, we compared 2 events of SEKKI on February 21, 1204, and September 17, 1770, with the characteristics of low-latitude auroras studied recently by modern scientific methods. We conclude that these historical SEKKI phenomena are probably giant low-latitude auroras.

Key words

  • low-latitude aurora
  • historical literatures
  • magnetic storm