This image from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory shows the sun as it appeared in extreme ultraviolet wavelengths on March 5, 2012 just after a major solar flare. Looking for more science?
Earth is not the only place in the solar system where you can catch these light shows. Auroras are generally green in color, though they can also be blue, white, violet, red or pink.
We are more than halfway to our goal but still need your help. The Menominee Indians of Wisconsin believed that the lights indicated the location of manabai'wok giants who were the spirits of great hunters and fishermen.
The Aurora Borealis spreads an eerie glow over a forest in Sweden. The sunspots and solar storms that cause the most magnificent displays of the northern lights occur roughly every 11 years.
EarthSky Updates on your cosmos and world. This is why there is a color differential with altitude: Free electrons and protons are thrown from the sun's atmosphere by the rotation of the sun and escape through holes in the magnetic field. Visit Jennifer Khordi on Facebook.
At this temperature, collisions between gas molecules are frequent and explosive. But strong displays of the lights can extend down into more southerly latitudes in the United States.
Northern Lights can be seen in the northern or southern hemisphere, in an irregularly shaped oval centred over each magnetic pole. As the particles pass through the Earth's magnetic shield , they mingle with atoms and molecules of oxygen, nitrogen and other elements that result in the dazzling display of lights in the sky.
When the charged solar particles are blown through space toward the Earth's atmosphere they are usually deflected by the Earth's powerful magnetic field.
The lights are seen above the magnetic poles of the northern and southern hemispheres. Yes No I need help.
Many other planets have auroras.