Undoubtedly the Northern Lights or auroras as they are commonly known, are seen as being one of the many fascinating products of mother nature. Mother nature seeks to give us a world that is safe, beautiful, sustainable, and once in a while, she does certain things that leave our jaws eternally dropped.
Auroras are such occurrences that are jaw-dropping and magnificent to see. These natural occurrences, no matter how many times one sees them, will always leave one speechless. The only thing that might change is the reaction towards them as the mind becomes slightly accustomed to seeing them.
How They Are Formed
These occurrences take place when there is an interaction between the sun and the earth. When the sun emits solar flares onto the earth, these flares travel a great distance and end up penetrating our earth’s magnetic shield. When this happens, these flares come into contact with molecules and atoms that are found in our atmosphere. When these flares and atoms collide, some bursts of light called photons are created, and this is how the tremendously beautiful lights are made. When these auroras are created, coming into different types of particles changes their colour. For example, when these auroras come into contact with nitrogen pink and purple colours are emitted, and when oxygen comes into contact with auroras, red and green colours are produced.
Where They Are Found
There are different names for auroras. The Northern Lights are named the Aurora Borealis and the Southern Lights are named the Aurora Australis. The name Northern Lights hints at their primary location and inform us that they are situated around the north pole. It is reported that the northern lights seem to occur between 60 – 70 degrees latitude. There are moments where they can be seen around 30 degrees latitude. This happens when the geomagnetic storms expand and reach other areas that are near the equator.
Where They Can Be Seen
Auroras are mostly concentrated around the poles due to the optimum conditions that are present there. There are instances where auroras can be seen in places that are not in the poles such as Canada. Most people do not know a lot about them, and so it is easy for them to miss them. Most auroras are not strong enough to be seen by the naked eye, and so special equipment has to be used to view them. Knowing when the best time to view them also helps. Auroras are measured by the KP Index, which ranges from 0-9 with higher values offering better results. Usually to be able to see the magic in Canada, it has to be very dark, namely, from midnight to 2 am and usually from October to March.