The Northern Lights

Beautiful lights to see - by Samantha E.

Introduction

Did you know that Aurora Borealis (a-roar-a-boar-e -l-is) is the scientific name for the Northern Lights? A strong green light means that it's about 120-180 km for the distance away from the Earth. A blue or violet color means about 120 km away. A red color means the sun is stormy and it is 90-100 km away. They are caused by photon light and windstorms. They can also be seen from many places and times from sunset to sunrise! They have many myths and folktales from many places. Only one myth talks about the the Northern Lights! You are not able to see them from New Jersey, but if you get to see one they are amazing!

Causes and how they appear

The cool causing of the Northern Lights. The Earth magnets the Sun's windstorms. When the storm's more intense the lights are bigger and brighter. Photon light and windstorms are what causes auroras. Photon light works by: atoms from the Sun hit Earth's atmosphere (at-mus-fear). Then, electrons go to a higher energy state, after that they drop down to a lower energy state. That's how photon light works! Dr. Neil Davis states,"Auroras are similar to color television images. In the picture tube, a beam of electrons controlled by electric and magnetic fields strike the screen, making it glow in colors that vary with the screens phosphor. Auroral color depends on the type of atoms and molecules struck by the energetic particles, particulary electrons, that rain down along earth's magnetic field lines in the discharge process."

Best times, places, and months to see them

There are many places, times, and months! YYou can see them from 11:30 P.M. to 2:00 A.M., or sunset to sunrise. Dr. Neil Davis states," The 'Pulsating Aurora' is one form of Northern Light common during the post-midnight hours!" The months you can see them are: March, April, September, and October. Lastly some of the best places you can see them from are: Fairbanks, Alaska; almost everywhere in Canada; The ice cap in Greenland; Westfjords, Iceland; Northern Norway; the Swedish lapland or Abisko National Park in Sweden; Northern Lapland in Finland; only Northern Siberia; Isles in Scotland; most of Russia; The Faroe Islands in Denmark. After telling you that you may ask to go to one of these places!

Myths and folktales about auroras

  • Salteaus Indians and the Kwakiutl-thought the auroras were dancing human spirits.
  • Point Barrow Eskimos-the only eskimo group who thought auroras were evil and have carried knives in the past.
  • Makah Indians-thought auroras were fires in the north, which a group of dwarfs half the size of a canoe paddle, caught whales with their hands

Conclusion

Aren't the Northern Lights amazing? With photon light, Fairbanks in Alaska, and myths. They are red, green, blue, and purple too! The next subtopic would be ways you can't see auroras. Some wonders are: WHy does it appear? and Can it be seen from the south? Northern lights are very neat and important because you don't see them every day.

Glossary

  1. atoms - "basic building blocks" that make up everything.
  2. electrons - charged tiny pieces from atoms.
  3. distance - a certain amount away from something.
  4. dwarfs - A being in the form of a small ugly man, usually with magic powers.
  5. windstorm - a storm with heavy strong wind and little or no precipitation.

Sources

  • Aurorahunters.com
  • Earthsky.org
  • ewetribe.com
  • finland.fi
  • ancienthistory.about.com
  • Skyscanner.net
  • fodors.com
  • webexhibits.org
  • alaska.org
  • canadiangeographic.ca
  • greenland.com
  • guidetoiceland.is
  • visitnorway.com
  • sweden.se
  • wherecanyouseethenorthernlights.com