What is Aurora? Mysteries of Aurora Borealis & Australis

Colorful lights in the sky OR the FIREFOX running so fast across the snow that his tail sent sparks into space?

Aurora is the colorful light show in the sky caused by the sun. They can be seen in the regions near the Northern and Southern poles.

Auroras happen when particles from the sun interact with gases in the Earth’s atmosphere causing a beautiful display of lights in the sky.

It is a natural, electrical phenomenon which is known as “Polar lights or Display of lights.”

Origin of the word “Aurora”

Aurora is a Latin word for dawn which is derived from the name of the Roman goddess of dawn. Aurora is believed to travel from east to west announcing the coming of the sun.

Types of Aurora:

Aurora Borealis & Aurora Australis

Aurora around the North Pole of Earth is called “Aurora Borealis” and aurora around the South Pole is called “Aurora Australis”.

Aurora Borealis is derived from the Greek words Aurora meaning “dawn” and Borealis meaning “northern.”

Aurora Australis is a Latin word, Aurora meaning “dawn” and Boreas meaning “southern.”

The major difference between Aurora Borealis and Australis:

There is no big difference between Aurora borealis and Australis apart from their different geographical locations. They both are the same phenomenon but they take place on different poles of the Earth.

What exactly happening with our earth during this light show:

The “Solar Winds” from Sun interact with the earth’s “magnetic field” which causes these lights in the sky called auroras.

The protons and electrons depart from the sun’s outermost layer called Corona. (Not Covid-19)

Corona is the hottest and outermost layer of the sun’s atmosphere.

At the speed of 750 km/h sun blasted off these tiny pieces of electrons & protons, These streams of particles are called “Solar winds.”

The Earth is directly in the path of solar wind. These solar winds can disrupt the satellites and harm the astronauts but the Earth is protected due to its magnetic field.

Earth has a metallic iron core that rotates so quickly that it turns the Earth into a giant magnet. And just like a magnet, it has two poles.

As these solar winds from the sun, strike the Earth’s atmosphere, Most of the particles are deflected by the Earth’s magnetic field but some of them came into contact with the earth’s atmosphere & they excite the oxygen & nitrogen atoms causing them to lay up into beautiful colors called auroras.

High-energy electrons cause oxygen to emit green light, while low-energy electrons cause a red light.

Facts about Aurora:

  1. The International Space Station is at the same altitude as the Northern Lights which means that the astronauts can see the lights from the side.
  2. Auroras are always there. It’s just the sky conditions that change and make them visible.
  3. Other planets also have auroras. Astronomers have witnessed auroras on Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Jupiter.
  4. Auroras on Earth can be seen from space too.
  5. Most auroras occur in a band called the auroral zone which is at a 3- to 6-degree latitude from the geographical poles.
  6. The colors of the Northern Lights are dependent on gas and electrons in the atmosphere.

Myths about Aurora:

The ancient people called them the “Dance of the spirits.”

In Finland, they said the lights are caused by the Firefox running so fast across the snow that his tail sent sparks into space.

Ancient Chinese observers believed, they were the flames of good and evil Dragons battling in the heavens.

In Japanese culture, the belief is that a child conceived underneath the northern lights will be blessed with good looks, intellect, and good fortune.

In Sweden, the Aurora was often seen as a sign of good news. Many Swedish forefathers believed the lights to be a gift from benevolent gods providing warmth and light in the form of a volcano in the north.

If We Remove The Earth’s Magnetic Field then Space Radiations Would Devastate The Earth Just Like Mars.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store