Among the most peculiar phenomena that exist in the world, there is this astronomical wonder reserved for a few. Very specifically we are talking about the inhabitants of Greenland, Canada, Alaska, Iceland, northern Siberia and northern Scandinavia who have the joy of having this great tourist attraction that nature itself offers them.
Every year the sun has different intensities in terms of its activity within its cycle, which is going to leave as a result that the intensity of the phenomenon is greater or lesser, very particularly between the specific period of the year.
The name «aurora borealis» is given to the aurora of the northern hemisphere, while that of the southern hemisphere is called «austral». If we talk a little bit of history we can get reflected that the French scientist Pierre Gassemdi in 1621 was the first one who could make the first systematic observation of the first-mentioned phenomenon, while the southern auroras were discovered by Captain James Cook one hundred years later in 1773 in the Indian Ocean.
Speaking of science…
Everything in this world has a great demonstrable scientific explanation for why auroras are not left out because they are produced when streams of charged particles of ions, protons, and electrons come to earth directly from the sun (that is why the above-mentioned solar activity is so important) known as solar wind. When this happens, the collision of gases in the ionosphere (the part of the Earth’s atmosphere that surrounds the Earth by up to 100km) produces the brightness we know as the aurora.
It can be seen that these auroras have an appearance of curtains of color that can be seen with the naked eye at the magnetic (non-geographic) North Pole, which encompasses some of the countries already mentioned.
CURIOUS FACT: Auroras do not only occur on the planet Earth, they can also be seen on other planets of the solar system such as Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars itself.
The different colors that the auroras can have or the degradation of them is due to the atmospheric conditions of the planet, but also the form in which they appear is varied. Auroras can be observed in the form of waves, spirals and even verticals and they can change their shape from night to dawn and the colors will be determined by the concentrations of oxygen, nitrogen and helium molecules.
Oxygen = green and yellow
Nitrogen = blue and violet
Helium molecules = Red and Purple
There are certain groups of astronomers dedicated to traveling the world and capturing these types of phenomena. You can even access them for free through some websites to observe from the telescope network to see certain astronomical events such as eclipses and others.
This specific group is led by Miguel Serra-Ricart, from the Instituto de Astrophysical de Canarias (IAC).
Here I am going to leave you the web so you can marvel: http://sky-live.tv/