Auroras

Auroras are natural bright light displays seen in the vicinity of the magnetic poles of the southern and northern hemispheres. ‘Aurora Borealis’ refers to auroras found in the north, while ‘Aurora Australis’ are found in the south.

This phenomenon is caused by electrically charged particles from the sun that enter the earth’s atmosphere.  When a solar wind (stream of protons and electrons) is blown towards earth, it is deflected by the earth’s magnetic field. However, the structure of the magnetic field is different at the poles, allowing some of the solar wind particles to enter the earth’s atmosphere. These energetic particles collide with the gas particles found in our atmosphere, resulting in the emission of the colourful lights observed over the poles and high latitude regions.  

aurora