The Enchanting Northern Lights

Who knew a collision of particles could be so breathtaking? The northern lights, the beautiful sweeping masses of dancing colors in the sky, occur when gaseous particles in the earth's atmospherecollide with particles fired off by the sun. The result makes for quite the beautiful crash.

The scientific name for the northern lights is aurora borealis, and for the southern lights, it's aurora australis. This natural phenomenon is best visible as close to the poles as possible, but the videos in these playlists place you front and center before the spectacle.

Key Facts In This Video

  1. An aurora is caused by charged particles from the sun colliding with the Earth's atmosphere. 00:32

  2. Some scientists think that a geomagnetic disaster could occur unless we learn more about solar storms. 01:09

  3. See footage of the Northern Lights captured by a weather balloon: 03:58

Written by Curiosity Staff May 1, 2014

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