What is Aurora Borealis?

Recently it was announced that the “Northern Lights”, which is also known as aurora borealis, could be visible in the regions including the northern parts of Illinois and Pennsylvania in the United Nations.

What is Aurora?

  • Aurora phenomenon occurs when the charged particles are ejected from the surface of sun and enters the atmosphere of Earth. The ejected charged particles are called the solar winds.
  • When these charged particles move toward Earth, the solar winds carry Sun’s magnetic field along with it.
  • This magnetic field disrupts the magnetosphere which is the region of space around Earth in which the magnetic field of Earth is dominant.
  • When the magnetic field of Sun approaches the Earth, the protective magnetic field radiating from the poles of Earth, deflects the incoming Sun’s magnetic field. This deflection results into the shielding life on Earth.
  • When the protective fields couple together, they form the funnels, through which the charged solar wind particles stream down to the poles.
  • These charged particles interact with different gases in the atmosphere at the north and the south poles. This results into the display of light in the sky.
  • This display is known as an aurora. It is visible from the Earth’s high latitude regions which is called as the auroral oval.
  • This phenomenon is active all year round.

How it is named?

These polar lights are called aurora borealis or Northern Lights in the Northern part of the globe. AT the north pole, it is visible from the US (Alaska), Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Sweden, Norway and Finland. But, at the South pole, they are called aurora australis or southern lights. In this region, the light is visible from high latitudes in Antarctica, Argentine, Chile, Australia and New Zealand.

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