Discover how the chemical reactions which produce the extraordinary colours of the Northern Lights have their origins in outer space.
- Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, is a natural light show that occurs at the poles.
- Magnetic activity on the Sun's surface propels super-fast charged electrons and ions into space - this is known as solar wind.
- The solar ions collide with atoms in the Earth's atmosphere and emit photons of light.
- The colour of the light emitted is dependent the type of atom the ions have collided with - a blue or red glow means that a nitrogen atom has been struck.
The Northern Lights – Aurora Borealis – are one of nature's most beautiful phenomena.
Northern Lights – Aurora Borealis
Visible only at night, and lasting from a few minutes to sometimes hours, this spectacular light show has its origin millions of kilometres away.
It's all caused by particles from the Sun colliding with ...
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