The Mystery of Aurora

Although they look elegant and calm, aurorae are produced when a large number of charged particles undergo collision while being trapped in Earth’s magnetic field.

This splendid display of colours and appearance of dancing lights is fascinating, and equally puzzling. These haunting lights are a form of intense space weather, a result of the atmosphere shielding the Earth against fierce solar particles that would otherwise make our planet uninhabitable. Millions and millions of electrically charged particles in the solar wind wash over Earth and smash into upper atmospheric gases. The energy from each collision is released as photons – particles of light. This causes the particles to glow.

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