Scientific Background of the Auroras

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The colored lights that dance in the sky, changing from shimmering curtains to whirling vortexes dressed in blue, green and red. The shining curtains of light whip back in forth as you stare in awe, witnessing one of wonders of the natural world. These magnificent light shows are known as the Aurora Borealis and Northern Lights in the north and Aurora Australis and Southern Lights in the south. The Aurora Borealis can be seen in areas near magnetic poles located in the North Pole such as Canada, Alaska, Greenland and Siberia. Meanwhile the Aurora Australis can be mainly seen in areas near the South Pole like in Antarctica and can only merely be glimpsed at in Tasmania and New Zealand. The Borealis and Australis actually mirror each other, so whatever is going up in the north, the same can be seen happening in the south. When viewed from near the poles, the auroras appear close enough that you feel you can touch them, but fact of the matter is that they’re actually 65 miles up min the air. The streaks of light can stretch for thousands of miles long despite only being a few dozen feet wide. Named after the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, they often do look like the colorful rays of sunlight that hit the earth in the early morning but unlike those rays, the auroras are best seen during the night. Behind the auroras there are many stories, myths and scientific wonders that make them just that much more amazing. Since the very beginning, the people of earth have taken notice to these lights, with each civilization coming up with their own unique story on why the auroras exist. Many believed the auroras were the work of magic or presence of an all-powerful god. To the Vikings, these lights were the reflections from the shields of fall... ... middle of paper ... ...are dazzling colors that illuminate and dance vigorously in the night sky. They appear and vanish in the hush of night. They are the auroras. Works Cited "Kristian Birkeland." - The Plasma Universe Wikipedia-like Encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 May 2014. . "Aurora Borealis." Myth (A Menominee Indian Folk Tale). N.p., n.d. Web. 16 May 2014. . "The Northern Lights - Where, When and What." The Northern Lights - Where, When and What. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 May 2014. . "Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights, in Mythology and Folklore." Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights, in Mythology and Folklore. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 May 2014. Oliwenstein, Lori. “The Auroras.” The New Book of Popular Science. 2002 ed.
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