The northern lights are a truly remarkable spectacle, with curtains of light dancing across the sky, twisting and turning to the whims of Earth’s magnetic field. Nothing quite beats seeing the dazzling performance with your own eyes.
Unfortunately for most of us, we simply don’t live far enough north for the aurora borealis or south enough for the aurora australis (also known as the southern lights). Only during heightened solar activity can strong geomagnetic storms shift auroras further from the polar regions and surprise skywatchers at lower latitudes. Lucky for us, there are many aurora webcams at our fingertips, poised to capture the northern lights wherever they may appear.
Auroras are generated when energized particles from the sun collide with Earth’s upper atmosphere and are funneled toward the poles by our planet’s magnetic field. When the electrically charged particles enter Earth’s atmosphere they excite gas atoms and molecules, sparking auroras. The process works in a similar fashion to neon lights: When the molecules and atoms get “excited” by electrons, they must return to their original energy (ground state) and do so by releasing the energy as photons (light). The color of the neon light depends on the gas mixture inside the tube, just like the color of auroras depends on the gas mixture in the atmosphere.
This video below is just one of many you can visit.
Welcome to Finlands first ever live Aurora Borealis youtube channel! Running since 2017. You can watch the majestic Northern Lights from the comfort of your sofa. Located in Utsjoki in Lapland, Finland.
This article originally appeared here and was republished with permission.