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Northern Lights

Polar lights or Aurora Polaris are a natural phenomenon found in both the northern and southern hemispheres. Northern lights are called Aurora Borealis, by their scientific name and southern lights are called Aurora Australis. The Northern Lights stem from when large numbers of electrically charged particles (electrons) at high speed stream in towards the Earth along its magnetic field and collide with the highest air particles. The air then lights up rather like what happens in a fluorescent light tube. We associate the Northern Lights with wintertime, although in reality they are present the year round but we can’t see them when the nights are light as the background sky has to be fairly dark. The Aurora lies well above the highest clouds, so we need clear skies to be able to see it. The Aurora often appears as curtains of lights, but they can also be arcs or spirals, often following lines of force in Earth’s magnetic field. Most are green in color but sometimes there is a hint of pink, and strong displays might also have red, violet and white colors. The lights are usually seen in the far north – the nations bordering the Arctic Ocean like Iceland, Canada, Scandinavian countries, Greenland and Russia

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