Aurora, also called the Northern Lights, is simply the natural display of light in the sky. It is usually seen in the high latitude regions like Norway, Denmark, Northern Canada, etc. It is caused due to the eruption of Sun particles in the Earth’s atmosphere.
- When charged particles from Sun’s surface, known as the solar wind, enter the Earth’s atmosphere, it disrupts the magnetic field of the earth at the upper layers of the atmosphere.
- At the Polar Regions, these solar winds interact with various atmospheric gases (exciting oxygen and nitrogen molecules) and lead to the formation of a colorful display of light, called Aurora.
- This phenomenon is active in the North Pole all throughout the year.
- In Southern Poles, it is known as Aurora australis or southern lights and is visible from high latitudes in Antarctica, Chile, Argentina, New Zealand, and Australia.
- Most auroras occur in a band that is known as the “auroral zone”. This zone is 3° to 6° wide in latitude and between 10° and 20° from the geomagnetic poles at all local times. The region which presently displays an aurora is known as an auroral oval.
- Auroras have different forms like arcs, curves, patches, mild glow, and coronas.
- The auroral light displays Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, Pink, and sometimes orange and Yellow-Green colors.
Northern US to see Aurora
As per the Space Weather Prediction Center, some parts of the northern US can see colorful aurora between 9th to 11th December 2020.
The Space Weather Prediction Center is a laboratory and center of the National Weather Service (NWS) of the US. NWS is a part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a US scientific agency looking after the conditions of the atmosphere, oceans, and waterways.