Science Fact of the Week: The Northern Lights

10 12 2008

Have you ever heard of “The Northern Lights”? The Northern Lights, which are also called the aurora borealis, are a beautiful display of colorful lights that can be seen from the sky at nighttime. The Northern Lights can only be seen in the northern hemisphere, or in parts of the world that are very cold like Alaska and Canada.

The Northern Lights are formed when electrons and protons from the sun become trapped in the polar areas of our earth. When a lot of these electrons and protons are collected, they collide with the air. The earth’s air is made up of oxygen, nitrogen, and other gases. The collision with the air causes the electrons and protons to become very electrically charged and to produce a lot of colorful lights in the night sky!

The Northern Lights can be many different colors, and the color depends on the type of gas that the protons and electrons are mixing with.  To get a better idea of how the Northern Lights are formed, watch this interesting video! At the end of the video you can see the Northern Lights in action. Also, to make your own Northern Lights go here!

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4 responses

9 01 2009
Erich

There is a really cool website called spaceweather.com and they have the most excellent photos of earth’s auroras. Not just the Northern lights but the southern one’s too. They have archived galleries full of incredible pictures submitted by flks from all over the globe. They also have great stuff about space in general including star maps, meteor shower alerts and solar imagery. Best of all it’s a mix of stuff that kids or other folks without astrophysics degrees can understand as well as serious science for the advanced enthusiast.

10 02 2011
Juliana

Great website, helps a lot with homework on every subject

20 03 2013
carson

my gosh i love this

2 04 2013
Anonymous

same it helps me with my homework

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