The Northern Lights are the result of collisions between gaseous particles in the Earth’s atmosphere with charged particles released from the sun’s atmosphere, which results beautiful colors that paint the sky. Variations in color are due to the type of gas particles that are colliding. They are seen in both the the northern and southern poles of the planet.
From the times I have seen the northern lights, they were not too bright, but still beautiful. Apparently this year they have been extremely strong and colorful. The lights of the northern hemisphere are often called Aurora borealis, which means means ‘dawn of the north’. ‘Aurora australis’ means ‘dawn of the south’. In Roman myths, Aurora was the goddess of the dawn.
Here is a cool video of the Northern Lights in Alaska in fast forward. Researchers have found out the auroral activity is actually cyclic, peaking around every eleven years. The best time to watch them is in winter, when it is clear out, and usually around midnight.
The colors can quickly disappear across the sky of all different hues. The most common colors are red and green, but yellow, pink and blue are still seen. The Geophysical Institute can forecast the lights and how strong the visibility will be for any evening.
Have you ever seen the beautiful Northern Lights in your life?