What is an Aurora?

Aurora was also known as polar lights (northern lights or aurora borealis and southern lights or aurora australis).It is a natural display of lights in the sky in Arctic and Antarctic regions.  It is caused when streams of charged particles from Sun collide with particles from gases like oxygen and nitrogen present in the atmosphere of the Earth.

Thus, the solar winds disturb the Earth’s magnetosphere leading the charged particles in both solar wind and magnetospheric plasma, primarily electrons and protons to precipitate in the upper atmosphere. It is the resulting excitation and ionization of atmospheric constituents that light of varying colour and complexity is emitted.

Aurora also depends on the amount of acceleration given to the precipitating particles. Auroras are generally seen in latitudes around 70 degrees in the auroral zone. Latter is 3-6 degrees wide in latitude and lies 10 and 20 degrees from geomagnetic poles.

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