Nature’s Sensational Phenomenon Aurora Borealis

by WriterArtist

The amazing sensation of nature’s Aurora Borealis in other words Northern Lights have always made humans wonder if they could replicate anything like it.

The stunning beauty of this occurrence in the sky is so much that people have travelled far to witness it in action. In fact, there are vacations for Alaska where they guarantee you this awesome sight.

When this dramatic phenomenon occurs in the sky, mankind is awestruck with the brilliance of the light that brightens earth’s atmosphere with sheer magic. Do you need telescope or binoculars to watch it? None of these are required, they are such immense stream of lights, you can never miss them. You can easily spot them provided you are in the right place at right time.

Image from Pixabay
MemoryCatcher, License: CC0 Public Domain

What is Aurora Borealis?


For a layman to understand this natural wonder, we can state in simple words that it happens due to sun and earth’s magnetic field. If you recall from your early science lessons at school earth behaves like a huge magnet. This magnet has 2 poles – North Pole and South Pole.


How does Northern Lights Happen?


Thanks to our scientists we know what causes Northern lights. The event of Auroras is triggered by the emission from sun. Auroras happen when these charged particles from sun collide the particles in the earth’s atmosphere, the head on collision of these high speed articles cause a flood of sparkling lights. The gigantic solar eruption is known as coronal mass ejection, as a result one sees mild to powerful spate of displays.

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Which is the best place of occurence of Aurora Borealis?

Colours of Aurora Borealis

Magnificent Display of Light


As the charged particles called electrons enter the topmost layer of earth’s atmosphere, they collide with the atoms of oxygen and nitrogen. This happens at an altitude of 20 to 200 miles above the ground. There is a reason for the colour of Aurora Borealis, it all depends upon the altitude and what are the atoms of collision –


Purple or Violet display of Aurora forms 60 miles above the ground when the charged particles collide with nitrogen

Blue or Indigo display of Aurora forms less than 60 miles above the ground when the charged particles collide with nitrogen

Red and orange display of Aurora above 150 miles above the ground when the charged particles collide with oxygen

Green display of Aurora forms less than 150 miles above the ground when the charged particles collide with oxygen


Where is the likelihood of Aurora Borealis happening?


The location of Aurora Borealis is the “Aurora ovals”, this place is on the magnetic poles both in the north and south, it will be prudent to remember that these poles are different than the geographic poles and lie approximately around Arctic and Antarctic circles.

Sun spots accelerate the happening of Northern lights, the activity is known to repeat itself in an 11 year cycle. Chances of spotting spectacular auroras are tremendous during the sunspot activities.

Updated: 05/05/2015, WriterArtist
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Have you seen the Northern Lights?

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DerdriuMarriner on 05/21/2021

WriterArtist, Thank you for all the pictures, practicalities and products.
Yes, I have seen the Northern Lights; your information indicates beautifully what viewers are in for.
Your astronomy-related series is fascinatingly reader-friendly. In particular, I like your correlating aurora colors with atmospheric heights above ground-level and with colliding atoms.

Veronica on 09/19/2015

This has been on my to -do list for quite some time and your lovely article here makes me wonder why I haven't gone up there sooner to see. Sometimes, just occasionally they are seen in Lancashire.

TY for posting

CruiseReady on 09/03/2015

I've always heard how spectacular the northern lights are... now I know a little more about how this happens. I don't think I'll ever get to see them in person, but one never knows.

sheilamarie on 06/04/2015

I have seen the Aurora Borealis many times and each time it's taken my breath away. When it appears near the South Pole, it's called Aurora Australis.

happynutritionist on 05/13/2015

We tried to see them when they were close to where we were in Maine on vacation last September, but we were just south of where they is a dream of mine to see them before leaving this earth.

AngelaJohnson on 05/06/2015

I would LOVE to see the northern lights, but doubt I ever well. Fortunately, I'm able to see them on youtube videos.

Mira on 05/05/2015

I've learned a few interesting things. Thank you! Good to see you back on Wizzley :)

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