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What are the Northern Lights?

Published On: Jul 28 2011 11:26:06 AM EDT

The Northern Lights are commonly referred to as the Aurora Borealis.

They are the result of interactions between the Sun and Earth's outer atmosphere.

The Northern Lights are one of the most spectacular light shows to watch as vivid colors glow in the sky.


In the Southern Hemisphere, it is called the Aurora Australis.

The bright dancing lights of the aurora are actually collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun that enter the earth's atmosphere.

The lights are seen above the magnetic poles of the northern and southern hemispheres.

Auroral displays appear in many colours although pale green and pink are the most common.

Shades of red, yellow, green, blue, and violet have been reported.

The lights appear in many forms from patches or scattered clouds of light to streamers, arcs, rippling curtains or shooting rays that light up the sky with an eerie glow.