How does the aurora borealis work?

2 Answers

The aurora borealis form when charged particles emitted from the sun during a solar flare penetrate the earth's magnetic shield and collide with atoms and molecules in our atmosphere. These collisions result in countless little bursts of multi-colored light which make up the aurora.

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Auroras are the result of disturbances in the magnetosphere caused by solar wind. These disturbances are strong enough to alter the trajectories of charged particles in both solar wind and magnetospheric plasma. These particles precipitate into the upper atmosphere resulting in ionization.

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