Get to know more about Aurora, the Beautiful Polar Light – Northern and Southern Lights, also known as aurora Borealis and aurora Australis.

This event occurs when high-energy particles from the Sun collide with neutral atoms in our atmosphere.

The energy emitted from these collisions produces a spectacle of light that mankind has admired for centuries.

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But the journey of particles is not as simple as leaving the Sun and arriving at Earth.

Like any cross-country trip, there are major detours and no one asks for directions.

Let’s trace this intergalactic journey by focusing on three main points of their journey.

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It leaves the Sun, stops in the Earth’s magnetic field, and arrives in the atmosphere above our heads.

The protons and electrons that create the northern lights depart from the Sun’s corona.

The corona is the outermost layer of the Sun’s atmosphere and is one of the hottest regions.

Its intense heat causes the Sun’s hydrogen and helium atoms to vibrate and release protons and electrons.

It’s as if they shed layers on a hot, sunny day.

Impatient and eventually behind the wheel, these free protons and electrons move too fast to be accommodated by the Sun’s gravity and are grouped together as plasma, an electrically charged gas.

They travel away from the Sun as constant plasma storms, known as the solar wind.

However, Earth prevents the solar wind from traveling directly to the planet by making a detour, the magnetosphere.

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The magnetosphere is formed by the Earth’s magnetic currents and protects our planet from the solar wind by sending particles around the Earth.

Their opportunity to continue their journey down into the atmosphere came when the magnetosphere was covered by new waves of tourists.

This event is a coronal mass ejection, and it occurs when the Sun shoots a large ball of plasma into the solar wind.

When one of these coronal mass ejections collides with Earth, it overpowers the magnetosphere and creates a magnetic storm.

The massive storm squeezed the magnetosphere until it suddenly returned, like a stretched elastic band, throwing some of the stray particles toward Earth.

The magnetic field retraction bands drag them into the aurora oval, which is the location of the northern and southern lights.

After traveling 93 million miles across the galaxy, the Sun’s particles finally produce a dazzling light show.

At 20 to 200 miles above the surface, electrons and protons meet oxygen and nitrogen atoms, and they must be delighted to see each other.

Solar particles outperform five atoms, giving their energy to Earth’s neutral oxygen and nitrogen atoms.

When atoms in the atmosphere are contacted by particles, they become glowing and emit photons.

Photons are tiny bursts of energy in the form of light.

The colors that appear in the sky depend on the wavelength of the atomic photons.

The excited oxygen atom is responsible for the green and red colors.

While the excited nitrogen atoms produce blue and dark red colors.

It is this collection of interactions that creates the northern and southern lights.

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Polar light is best seen on a clear night in areas close to the north and south poles of the magnet.

The night is ideal because Aurora much dimmer than sunlight and cannot be seen in daylight.

Remember to look up at the sky and read the patterns of the Sun’s energy, especially the sunlight that forms the flares, as this will be a good guide for predicting auroras. (mg11)

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