|The Aurora from space via NASA.gov|
Fun facts about Aurora
- The colors of the aurora are determined by the type of molecules with which solar wind particles collide as they enter the earth’s atmosphere. Solar wind particles and oxygen molecules produce green and yellow light, while nitrogen molecules produce red, violet and blue light.
- Earth isn’t the only planet with aurora. Jupiter and Saturn have auroral ovals on both hemispheres. Astronomers have also spotted aurora on Uranus and Neptune.
- Astronauts on board the International Space Station are at the same altitude as the auroras and see them from the side.
- The aurora borealis is named after the Roman goddess of the dawn, Aurora, and the Greek term for “wind of the north,” boreas.
- Edmund Halley first proposed that the northern lights formed according to the Earth’s magnetic field in 1716.
More Aurora Facts from Canadian Geographic