I am totally fascinated by the Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis. An aurora is a natural light display in the sky found in the very extreme latitudes of Earth, including the Arctic and Antarctic regions. It’s pretty scientific, but in simple terms the dazzling display of lights is made when energetic charged particles collide with atoms in a high altitude atmosphere. Over Alaska, Canada and other parts of the area, the aurora borealis light up the night with a mysterious curtain of fluorescent green. At AllSparkFireworks.com, we have a really cool fountain firework actually named Aurora Borealis and it provides a swirling and twirling effect of green lights that dance up into the sky from the ground – you’ll understand why native tribes have called this amazing natural effect “dance of the spirits.” It’s a true phenomenon of pyrotechnic proportions! Just imagine the beauty if you shot off fireworks under the glow of a real aurora!
Here are some other interesting facts about the real (not firework) Aurora Boreali.
- Earth isn’t the only planet with aurora. Jupiter and Saturn have auroral ovals on both hemispheres. Astronomers have also spotted aurora on Uranus and Neptune.
- The Earth’s magnetic field extends thousands of kilometres into space.
- During the 1989 geomagnetic storm, the northern lights could be seen as far south as Florida and Cuba.
- Astronauts on board the International Space Station are at the same altitude as the auroras and see them from the side.
- Scientists have been studying the northern lights for more than 170 years.
- Edmund Halley (of Halley’s Comet fame) first proposed that the northern lights formed according to the Earth’s magnetic field in 1716.
- The colors of the aurora are determined by the type of molecules with which solar wind particles collide as they enter the earth’s atmosphere. Solar wind particles and oxygen molecules produce green and yellow light, while nitrogen molecules produce red, violet and blue light.
- Auroras in the southern hemisphere are called aurora australis.
- The aurora borealis is named after the Roman goddess of the dawn, Aurora, and the Greek term for “wind of the north,” boreas.