Northern Lights: What are the aurorae borealis? | Live Science

A fish-eye lens view of an all-sky aurora on Feb. 16, 2018, over the Churchill Northern Studies Centre, in Churchill, Manitoba. The image reveals a short-lived bright outburst when the bottom fringe of the auroral curtains turned brilliant pink, due to energetic electrons exciting lower-altitude nitrogen molecules.  (Image credit: VW Pics/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Here’s what causes the gorgeous northern lights and where you can see the glowing sky show…

The northern lights are a phenomenon that appear in the sky when charged particles coming from the sun slam into oxygen and nitrogen molecules in the atmosphere, ionizing those molecules and causing them to glow. These lights can only typically be seen at high northern latitudes, and they can vary from a weak glow on the horizon to billowing green and red sheets covering the sky…

As the name suggests, the northern lights are best seen as far north as possible, in any region circling the Arctic, including northern Canada, Iceland and Greenland, the Scandinavian countries, Russia, and Alaska (and any bits of water in between). Generally, the best spot to see them is between 10- and 20-degrees latitude. They technically happen all the time, but the light of the sun during the day washes them out. NASA provides a helpful tool for forecasting northern light events and where the best spot on the Earth is to see them… More about this article in the link below…

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