Natures miracles are truly amazing and one such miracle is the Northern Lights. Check out this time lapse video of some beautifully captured moments of the Northern Lights in Alaska.
The Northern Lights also known as Aurora Borealis, is one of the most spectacular phenomenon of nature. They appear in different patterns like patches, scattered clouds, arcs or shooting rays. This amazing display of lights can be observed in skies of high latitude regions like Norway or Canada. The bright colours appear in the sky when gaseous particles collide. The Auroras appear when charged particles from the sun interact with the Earth’s magnetic field. Sometimes, when there is a intense solar storm, the lights can be visible from far south such as Texas.
The colours in an aurora are caused when oxygen and nitrogen particles collide with charged particles. The color depends on the gases. Oxygen causes green or brownish-red colour. Nitrogen causes blue or red. Helium causes bluish purple colours.
Auroras have been known for thousands of years now. Images of auroras have been found in ancient cave paintings in France. The Northern Lights are seen between the months of March to April and September to October or anytime there is a solar storm.
The negative effects of the Aurora have been realised in the modern world. The intense storm activity between the particles can disrupt the power grids, satellite communications and radio communications!
Here are few facts about the Northern Lights:
- There are a number of legends about Northern Lights. Some North America tribes call them as “aqsarniit”; that means football players. They believe the spirit of the dead to be playing football with the head of a walrus.
- The astronauts in space are on the space altitude as the Northern Lights. They can see them from the side.
- The most spectacular Northern Lights recorded in the history are those of the “Great geomagnetic storm” that occurred on 28th August and 2nd September 1859. It is said that the magnitude with which the solar storm occurred would likely cause a lot of problems in todays world.