Man has been mystified, amazed and stood in wonder under the Dancing Sky for centuries. Many stories and legends are born of this natural wonder. In the late 1800’s it was suspected that science might provide the explanation to the phenomenon ‘Aurora borealis’.
In the 1950’s science provided the cause. Collisions between gaseous particles in the Earth’s atmosphere with charged particles released from the sun’s atmosphere produce the Dancing Sky that we now call the Northern Lights.
The colors range from a pale yellow green, blue or purplish red, and the very rare all red depending on the altitude, and the balance of Oxygen and Nitrogen.
The Northern Lights are actually the result of collisions between gaseous particles in the Earth’s atmosphere with charged particles released from the sun’s atmosphere. Variations in color are due to the type of gas particles that are colliding. The most common auroral color, a pale yellowish-green, is produced by oxygen molecules located about 60 miles above the earth. Rare, all-red auroras are produced by high-altitude oxygen, at heights of up to 200 miles. Nitrogen produces blue or purplish-red aurora.
Be you scientist or mystic, gazing up to the heavens to witness a Dancing Sky is always a wonder of nature that you will remember forever.