Aurora Borealis

 The Aurora is an incredible light show caused by collisions between electrically charged particles released from the sun that enter the earth’s atmosphere and collide with gases such as oxygen and nitrogen. The lights are seen around the magnetic poles of the northern and southern hemispheres.

The bests places to watch auroras are North Pole and Antarctica.

This diagram will explain how the auroras are created:

  

The color of the light you see depends on the type of gas; Streetlights filled with sodium gas give off a dark yellow light. Only sodium atoms give off that particular shade of yellow. Orange neon signs are filled with pure neon gas. Other colors of neon signs are actually neon mixed with other types of gases, like helium or argon.

A multi-colored aurora over Groenland

Auroras are naturally unpredictable, but the likelihood of their appearance can be predicted, thanks to a satellite called POES, which measures the particles entering the upper atmosphere. Data from this satellite are compared to statistical data of auroral sightings to produce a prediction of where auroras are currently most likely.

Nina G & William R

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