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Some useful information on the world’s most spectacular natural phenomena on this week’s blog post Read rest of article …
The Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights
Named after the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, and the Greek god of the north wind, Boreas, the aurora borealis is one of world’s most spectacular natural phenomena. This amazing light show, which occurs when highly charged electrons carried by the solar wind collide with atoms and molecules in the upper atmosphere, is typically seen at night as curtains of red or green light, although occasionally it can take on a faint blue or violet hue.
Although it is most often seen within about 1,500 miles of the magnetic north pole, from Alaska, Canada, northern Scandinavia, Greenland, Iceland and Siberia, the aurora borealis can also occasionally be seen in the night skies over Britain and as far south in the US as Boston. From space, when the lights are particularly intense, they show up as an oval with the magnetic pole lying almost at the center.
The Northern Hemisphere, however, is not the only part of the world to play host to its own marvelous light spectacle. The aurora australis is the South Pole’s equivalent of the aurora borealis, but because it occurs mainly in the oceans around Antarctica, it is much less often seen by human eyes.
If seeing the aurora borealis is one of the things on your “bucket list,” the periods around the spring and autumn equinoxes on March 22 and September 22 are the times when most sightings are reported.