Auroras are a beautiful occurrence caused by the interaction of highly charged particles released from the Sun and the electromagnetic field of our planet.
Our northern and southern poles contain a high electromagnetic charge released from our planets core.
Like the sun, our planet also has a core of elements. These elements traveling through the layers of our planet begin to gain a magnetic charge.
The name “Aurora” is derived from either aurora borealis or aurora australis, the northern or southern lights, due to the location of Earth’s polar regions.
The polar regions are where Earth’s magnetic fields are located and strongest. Auroras are caused by the interaction between the magnetic fields and excited electrons that came from a solar storm (aka the Sun spewing charged particles towards us).When the charged particles from the sun strike atoms and molecules in Earth’s atmosphere, they excite those atoms, and when they cool down it causes them to emit light, like the green color in the main photo, take from APOD.nasa.gov. This is due to OXYGEN being a present molecule. Sometimes blue or red light will emit, which is caused by NITROGEN.
Business signs using neon lights work in a similar way.Using electricity to excite atoms in a neon gas contained in a glass tube, a wonderfully bright color is emitted.In Norse mythology, the aurora was a fire bridge to the sky built by the gods.
Information from: www.earthsky.org
Photo from: APOD.nasa.gov
Jan. 3, 2016