Aurora: named from Roman goddess of dawn

Northern Lights

Aurora Borealis is known as the Northern Lights which happens in the Northern Hemisphere.   Northern lights are caused by a collision of electrically charged particles from the sun as it enters the Earth’s atmosphere.  They light up as they collide with gases like nitrogen and oxygen.

Northern lights above an ocean with Icebergs

Aurora Borealis

 

For century’s and even longer, people have always been drawn to the beauty of these amazing lights.  Scientists have been studying them for years.  The first astronomer to name the lights Aurora Borealis was Pierre Gassendi.  Although, all through ancient times people have had their own names for this phenomenon.  In Finnish, it goes by “Revontulet” which translates to “Fire Fox”.

 

Southern Lights

Aurora Australis is called the Southern Lights.  This happens to be in the Southern Hemisphere.  The reason that the Aurora’s only happen at the poles is that the Earth is like a big magnet.  With a magnet, you have two different poles.  The magnetic pull.attracts the electrical particles coming from the sun.

Folklore and legends have come from all different areas that see the Aurora’s.  The Fox Indians believed it was the dead enemy’s coming back to get revenge.  The East Greenland Eskimos believed that they were the spirits of children who have passed away.  The Eskimos of Nunivak Island even believed that they were Walrus’s playing ball with a human skull.

Southern Lights over water and mountains.

Aurora Australis

One of the best stories is from the Algonquin Indians.  They believed their Creator, Nanahbozho, after he finished creating the earth he traveled to the far north.  Whereas, he still builds great fires which reflect southward.  This reminds those he created of his lasting love.

Whatever the beliefs or legends, this has been happening for a very long time and will continue to happen.  The Earth is protecting us from the radiation of the sun.  Our atmosphere is like a great big bubble that is shielding us from harm.

Furthermore, if you have the chance to see these beautiful lights, take that opportunity.  You will never regret experiencing this amazing phenomenon. To learn more weather info visit us at Weatheregg.

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