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aurora

An aurora (plural: auroras or aurorae) is a natural light display in the sky, particularly in the polar regions, caused by the collision of charged particles directed by the Earth's magnetic field. An aurora is usually observed at night and typically occurs in the ionosphere?. It is also referred to as a polar aurora or, collectively, as polar lights. These phenomena are commonly visible between 60 and 72 degrees north and south latitudes, which place them in a ring just within the Arctic and Antarctic polar circles. Auroras do occur deeper inside the polar regions, but these are infrequent and often invisible to the naked eye.

In northern latitudes, the effect is known as the aurora borealis (or the northern lights), named after the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, and the Greek name for the north wind, Boreas, by Pierre Gassendi? in 1621. Auroras seen near the magnetic pole may be high overhead, but from farther away, they illuminate the northern horizon as a greenish glow or sometimes a faint red, as if the Sun were rising from an unusual direction. The aurora borealis most often occurs near the equinoxes. The northern lights have had a number of names throughout history. The Cree call this phenomenon the "Dance of the Spirits". In Europe, in the Middle Ages, the auroras were commonly believed a sign from God. see Wilfried Schröder?, Das Phänomen des Polarlichts, Darmstadt 1984

Its southern counterpart, the aurora australis (or the southern lights), has similar properties, and is visible from high southern latitudes in Antarctica?, South America and Australia

Auroras can be spotted throughout the world and on other planets. They are most visible closer to the poles due to the longer periods of darkness and the magnetic field. (wikipedia)

See Also

Dispersion
Electricity
Light
Vibratory Physics - The Connecting Link between Mind and Matter


Page last modified on Monday 23 of May, 2011 05:04:03 MDT