The aurora borealis is one of the most beautiful astronomical phenomena and is a mixture of picturesque colors that occur in the skies of the North and South Pole.

These colors appear in the form of different curves and waves. The reason for the formation of the northern and southern aurora boroughs is due to the interactions between the energy particles coming from the sun and the Earth's magnetic field.

This spectacular show begins after sunset and darkness and darkness are the times of the aurora borealis.

Where the northern horizon occupies a transparent arc that lasts for half an hour and then begins to move high in the sky, taking more glow as it rises, and behind it, another new arc begins to form separate from its predecessor, and so on, and as these arcs take rise, they create twists and loops that become shiny in the aftermath, then After a long or short time, the aurora will fade away.

In Norway, the aurora borealis appears in faint green and red colors, as it appears in other regions near the Arctic: “Scotland, Canada, Finland, Iceland, Greenland, Alaska, Sweden”, while in the regions near the Antarctic which are “Chile, Argentina”, Australia".

The aurora borealis produces different colors, but it is dominated by the green and red colors, and the oxygen, blue, and red atoms are responsible for it. The nitrogen is responsible for it, but the rest of the colors appear as a result of their mixture between the primary colors.

How the phenomenon of aurora happen?

For this phenomenon to occur, it must go through phases, starting with the sun and ending with the Earth


The sun consists of three layers: photosphere, Chromosphere and Corona. The sunspots appear in the photosphere, and it is a sign of the presence of solar activity. The peak of its solar activity occurs every 11 years.

These spots represent disturbances in the solar field and remain for a long time that may reach months and are accompanied by protrusions which are solar explosions that rise to half a million kilometers from the surface of the sun.

Solar irritations are more powerful and bursting than protrusions and have a very large energy, but they do not live more than minutes, and they are responsible for sending X-rays, gamma rays and visible rays, in addition to many protons and electrons that have a very high energy.

While these particles are moving outward, the corona becomes less dense and larger in size, and as a result, its lighting diminishes until it completely fades and extends to the planets, and sometimes it reaches Pluto.

If you want more information about the sun, visit our previous article: The Sun: A Life Story


The waves from the sun continue to travel until they reach the Earth's atmosphere and magnetic field. The solar wind creates an opening in the magnetic field at the polar barriers of the Earth and the phenomenon of aurora borealis occurs:

When the charged charged particles collide with the solar wind and glow in the Earth's magnetic field, they are distributed along the lines of this magnetic field. Some of the particles are reflected off the surface of the earth while others interact with the lines of the magnetic field, causing currents of charged particles, heading towards both poles.

These currents are called Birkland, relative to the Norwegian physicist Christian Birkeland who discovered them. When electrical charges pass through the magnetic field, they generate an electric current, and when these currents drop into the atmosphere they gain more energy.

When they collide with the nitrogen and oxygen ions in the Earth's ionosphere, the charged particles transfer their energy to these ions.

The absorption of energy by the oxygen and nitrogen ions stimulates the electrons within it and moves from low energy to high energy orbits. When these ions settle down, the electrons return to their original orbits, freeing the energy within them, which is emitted as radiation at different wavelengths, creating the distinctive colors that appear in the sky

The phenomenon of aurora borealis in ancient civilizations

The ancient peoples who lived through the aurora borealis differed among themselves, and most of them discussed many myths related to its picturesque reality.

The phenomenon of aurora borealis in the Eskimo

From the ancient myths of the Eskimos, they thought that twilight is a curious, living creature. If people speak in a soft voice, this creature will come close to satisfy its curiosity by hearing what people say.

The phenomenon of aurora borealis in the Romans
For the Romans, the aurora borealis was one of the goddesses of dawn and the sister of the moon.
Roman legend says that these gods cross the sky in her carriage and before dawn preceded by her son announcing the advent of the Apollo cart - the god of music, light and acumen - carrying the sun of the new day.

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