The Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis is a natural phenomenon that has puzzled and charmed generations, but what is the science behind the Northern Lights?
One of the charms and appeals of the Northern Lights is that each appearance is completely unique. Commonly seen is three green bands across the night sky or the lights come as rollingsmoke or even flickering curtains. The colour is an electric green, often with a hint of pink along the edge, and occasionally with a deep violet centre. The colour palette seems to definitely have a disco vibe from the 1980s!
If there is a lot of activity in the skies, the Northern Lights spring into life for a minute or two in a corona. The next minute it is all over and you are left with magnificent memories.
When dreaming about seeing the Northern Lights, you must remember that you are at the complete mercy of nature! The Northern Lights love to play hide and seek. Observing the aurora borealis is often a tug of war between your patience and the aurora itself. Unless local weather suddenly decides to obstruct your view with clouds.
What is the science behind the Northern Lights?
The Aurora Borealis (the Northern Lights) have always fascinated mankind, and people even travel thousands of miles just to see the brilliant light shows in the earth's atmosphere. The aurora, surrounding the north magnetic pole (aurora borealis) occur when highly charged electrons from the solar wind interact with elements in the earth's atmosphere. Solar winds stream away from the sun at speeds of about 1 million miles per hour. When they reach the earth, some 40 hours after leaving the sun, they follow the lines of magnetic force generated by the earth's core and flow through the magnetosphere, a teardrop-shaped area of highly charged electrical and magnetic fields.
In the really old times
In Norse Mythology Northern Lights were believed to be the reflections of the shields of the Valkyries racing across the sky on their way to their resting place, Valhalla.