Mesmerizing Northern Lights From Around The World

Published November 9, 2013
Updated December 21, 2017
Northern Lights Photos

Source: Art Person

Though Alaska’s Northern Lights are some of the most beautiful natural occurrences in the universe, relatively few people have observed their beauty, and even less understand how and why they appear.

People can see the auroral lights above the magnetic poles in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Known as the aurora borealis in the North, and the aurora australis in the South, these beautiful lights are created when ions, or charged particles, interact with solar winds.

Red Hue Lights

Source: Greg Hensel

Iceland Northern Lights

Source: Flick River

More specifically, these aurora-creating collisions occur when free electrons and protons escape through holes in the sun’s magnetic field and travel to the earth’s atmosphere.

While the earth’s magnetic field deflects most of the charged particles, this field is weakest at the Earth’s poles, allowing some particles to enter and collide with gas particles, hence creating the mystical glowing lights we see in the sky.

Aurora Borealis

Source: NASA

Northern Lights Photos Over Scotland

Source: BBC

Colorful Sky

Source: IBI Times

Kiri Picone
Kiri Picone holds a B.A. in English and creative writing from Pepperdine University and has been writing for various digital publishers for more than 10 years.
Savannah Cox
Savannah Cox holds a Master's in International Affairs from The New School as well as a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and now serves as an Assistant Professor at the University of Sheffield. Her work as a writer has also appeared on DNAinfo.
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Picone, Kiri. "Mesmerizing Northern Lights From Around The World.", November 9, 2013, Accessed May 29, 2024.