If you need to see Nature at her best, you should think of Northern Lights. Spectacular and dazzling, the Northern Lights have a really difficult scientific name – Aurora Borealis. In this article titled 30 interesting Northern Lights facts, we are going to explore numerous things like their shape, the tales of legends and the true cause of such spectacular array of lights that humans have failed to replicate so far. So if you are ready, without further ado, let us begin our facts list. You are going to love these facts!
Interesting Norther Lights Facts: 1-10
1. Magical, dramatic, entrancing – the Northern Lights can be seen in several forms like shooting rays, curtains, arcs, streamers, scattered light clouds, light patches and more.
2. Two things are responsible for this dazzling display of lights – the charged particles shooting out of the sunspots that form on sun and the elemental molecules and atoms (such as nitrogen and oxygen molecules and atoms) that happily float around in Ionosphere and Exosphere of earth’s atmosphere.
3. What really happens is that during solar storms, the charged particles from sun are spewed out in form of plasma. Plasma can travel in any direction and can even head towards our earth. It takes about 40 hours and 93 million miles of travelling for the plasma winds to get close enough to earth’s magnetic fields that stretch out to thousands of kilometers in space.
4. Once the charged particles in the plasma are close enough to be incapable of resisting the gravitation tug of our planet, they simple come shooting towards earth and bombard with the molecules of various elements, resulting in the vivid display of the dazzling lights that have captured out attention of millennials.
5. This phenomenon is not just restricted to the Northern Hemisphere of our planet. These dazzling lights can be seen even in the Southern Hemisphere. The name for the southern counterpart is Aurora Australis.
6. The most common colors that we see in Northern Lights are violet, blue, yellow, green and pink with green being the commonest of all. Orange and white colors are also seen but they are rare occurrences.
7. The color that will show up actually depends on which elemental molecules or atoms the charged particles are colliding with. Green and yellow occurs when the charged particles from sun bombard with oxygen. Violet, red and blue are produced when the charged particles interact with nitrogen.
8. Again the colors will different depending on whether the charged particles are colliding with molecules or atoms. For instance, interactions between charged particles and molecular nitrogen leads to purple. Replace molecular nitrogen with atomic nitrogen and the resulting color is blue.
9. As we said earlier, for millennials humans have been fascinated by Northern Lights. One of the earliest records of the Aurora Borealis has been found in a cave in France which dates back to 30,000 years from now. The cave paintings have illustrations of this incredible natural phenomenon.
10. The name Aurora Borealis was coined by Galileo Galilei in 1619. The part Aurora is actually the name of the goddess of dawn in Roman Mythology. The part Borealis is actually name of northern winds in Greek.