Elise D.

How Auroras Work

The most common and realistic belief on how auroras work is that electrified particles from the sun collide with Earth's atmosphere and auroras appear. Some believe it's just the moonlight reflecting off of glacier ice. Another belief that comes from the Vikings is that the auroras are reflections from the shields of fallen warriors rising to the heavens. Last but not least, the Inuit (Eskimo) thought the beautiful lights were simply dancing spirits.
NASA | The Mystery of the Aurora

Names for Auroras

In the South Pole and the North Pole there are different names auroras are called. In the South Pole, they can be known as southern lights or aurora australis. However, in the North Pole the auroras can be known as northern lights or aurora borealis.


~The different colors that appear when you see an aurora depend on the types of atoms and molecules in the aurora.

~The "brilliance" of an aurora relies on the amount of solar material reaching the Earth.

~September is known as "aurora season" because it is filled with the most auroras appearing in the sky.

~To see the most spectacular auroras position yourself near the magnetic poles.

~Solar outbursts usually create the biggest displays of auroras.

~The most common response people say after they see an aurora is they feel as if they could almost touch the lights.

~Spontaneous and multiple auroras that appear around the same time is known as an aurora storm.


" What Is an Aurora?" Aurora Facts. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Nov. 2014. <>.

Oliwenstein, Lori. "The Auroras." The New Book of Popular Science. 2006. Print.

"About Auroras." NASA. NASA, n.d. Web. 03 Nov. 2014. <>.