For today’s topic, we’re going to talk about something almost everyone has seen or heard at least once in photos, movies and videos. However, you might not even know what it is called or the science behind it. This is gonna be interesting.
You may have seen lights across the dark sky that appear in different patterns in wallpapers and paintings. There are several different names to call it such as “aurora” or “Polar lights”. Depending on the region where it is observed, the name can also be different such as “Southern lights” and “Aurora australis” if it’s seen in southern latitudes. On the northern latitudes, these lights are called “Aurora borealis” and “Northern lights”. I can safely say that anyone who sees this phenomenon will be captivated by its beauty.
So are these beams of light artificial? How do they occur naturally? Are those made by gods or a sign of mysteries?
These brilliant lights appear in different colors and wavelengths(red, green, blue, Ultra violet, Infrared, yellow and pink) depending on the region, time, weather and even the sea level. Isn’t it wonderful? Lets find out…
There hasn’t been in depth explanations as to how different physical processes lead to different types of aurorae yet.
As for a basic explanation: Due to the intense heat of the sun, protons and electrons are released from the corona, the outermost layer of the sun’s atmosphere. These protons and electrons group together as plasma which moves too fast to be contained by the sun’s gravity. They travel away from the sun into space as a constant gale known as the solar wind. When the solar wind collides with the earth’s atmosphere, aurorae are formed.
Aurora borealis can be seen near the Arctic Circle such as Alaska, Canada, Iceland, Greenland, Norway, Sweden and Finland. In the southern part of the world; Aurora australis can be observed in Antarctica, Chile, Argentina, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. They can be seen best across the dark sky at a time called magnetic midnight.
Earth is not the only planet to host aurorae. Aurorae can also be found in places where the magnetic fields are much stronger than earth’s such as Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune. They are also seen on Venus and Mars. The aurorae on Saturn seem like Earth’s, to be powered by the solar wind. Jupiter’s aurorae however are more complex; its volcanic moon “Io” produces plasma which forms the aurorae on the planet .
Now you know about the amazing phenomena of aurora. Hope you guys enjoy it and get something from it. Make sure to subscribe our blog for more interesting articles in the future.