Text Box: This shuttle image shows the characteristic oval shape of the aurora.i
What is aurora?
Auroras, or polar lights, are the luminous phenomenon of the upper
atmosphere occurs in high latitudes of both hemispheres. Auroras in
the northern hemisphere are called aurora borealis and those in the
south hemisphere are called aurora australis. Aurora (Latin for
'dawn') is beautiful and amazing lights which are visible in the dark
sky in the poles. It can appear as many different forms, but usually
it is a greenish quivering glow near the horizon. In 1621 the term
'aurora' was coined by the French astronomer. More and more
observations were done and a concrete description was archived soon
afterwards. Many theories were developed this phenomenon. Some
suggested that it was the reflection of sunlight of artic light and
some believed it was the firelight at the edge of the world; however
both hypotheses are rejected because it was found that aurora was
found 100-400km above the earth surface which is well beyond the
atmosphere. Around the 17th century it has been discovered that it is
caused by the interaction between energetic plasma particles from
outside atmosphere with atoms of higher atmosphere. Till now, not all
the questions about aurora have been answered, but with the escalating
astronautic technology, we have a much better understanding on this
How does aurora form?
At every moment the sun is giving out charged particles in solar wind.
Some of these particles are captured by the earth magnetic field and
the bombardment of the solar wind with the atmospheric particles...
... middle of paper ...
The Exploration of the Earth's Magnetosphere.
Learning about Aurora.
Applied physics laboratory site.
NASA website. http://www-istp.gsfc.nasa.gov/
Web Exhibits site. http://webexhibits.org/
Britannica Online. http://www.britannica.com/
Evaluation on resource:
My source information comes from books, journals and internet. The
information about most topics is quite consistent except the formation
of voltage drop in the aurora acceleration region. There are many
theories explaining the phenomenon, but I only concentrated on the two
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