Aurora Borealis By: Poppy Carver-kay

What causes the Northern Lights?

a rare image of red northern lights

The Aurora Borealis is caused by electrons from space and the oxygen and nitrogen gas in earths atmosphere. They originate in the magnetosphere (Part of space that is controlled by earths magnetic field) and that makes all the molecules get excited and when they return to their normal state they realease small bursts of energy in light form. When millions of these occur and enough photons are released the oxygen and nitrogen make enough light for the human eye to detect ( although it is easier to see them on camera)

How is the Aurora Borealis related to magnets?

Essentially, the north pole has one giant force field, and the charged particles are lots of little magnets so all the charged particles get attracted to the north and south pole's magnetic force field. Which creates the lights of the Aurora Borealis.

Why does the Aurora Borealis have diffrent lights?

The colors of the Aurora Borealis really depends on the gas and which gas is being realesed from the electrons, and about how much energy there is. Oxygen gives a greenish-yellowish color, and sometimes gives a red light. Nitrogen gives a blue light.

Ultra violet?

The Aurora Borealis does have some ultra violet colors. They are formed when the oxygen and nitrogen molecules give away the ultra violet colors. The only way we can detect them are with, really good cameras on satellite.


Fun Facts!

1. They are visible from space. Yes both north and southern lights are visible from space.

2. They also have them on other planets. Voyagers 1 and 2 were the first probs to bring us back pictures of the lights on Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.

3. Astronauts on board the ISS are at the same altitude and see them from The side.

4. Some Northern American tribes have legends surrounding the lights, and they call them "aqsarniit." Which means football player.

5.The first person to ever describe the Northern lights as Aurora Borealis was in 1619.


H., Petr. "25 Interesting Facts About Northern Lights You Should Know before You See Them." List25. List25, 29 Sept. 2014. Web. 16 Mar. 2017.

The Color Of The Aurora Depends On Which Gas Is Being Excited, By The Electrons And On How Much Energy Is Being Exchanged., Oxygen Emits Either A Greenish-Yellow Light (The Most, and Familiar Color Of The Aurora) Or A Red Light; Nitrogen Generally. Why the Different Colors? Where Can I See the Aurora? (n.d.): n. pag. Web.

Emspak, Jesse. "Northern Lights: 8 Dazzling Facts About Auroras." LiveScience. Purch, 27 Oct. 2014. Web. 16 Mar. 2017.

Thank you!


Created with images by Moyan_Brenn - "Universe" • leppre - "Northern Lights Red" • NASA Goddard Photo and Video - "NASA's IMAGE Spacecraft View of Aurora Australis from Space" • NASA Goddard Photo and Video - "GPM Core Observatory"

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