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Northern Lights

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by

Aleksandra Kecman

on 16 June 2014

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Transcript of Northern Lights

Northern Lights
Explanation of the Northern Lights
Fun facts
What are the Northern lights?
Continued
The lights are seen above the magnetic poles of the northern and southern hemispheres
The lights appear in many forms including....
patches
scattered clouds of light
streamers
arcs
rippling curtains
shooting rays that light up the sky

Oxygen
Nitrogen
Hydrogen and Helium
Connection to Boyle's Law
Best Time to Watch the Northern Lights
More frequent and spectacular during high solar sunspot activity (11 years)
Between late September and late March
Winter in the north
Darkness and clear nights
Local area midnight (adjust to daylight savings)
Aurora Borealis
No two
aurora borealis
are alike
Start off low on the horizon,then a faint glow of light appears
An arch of light stretches across the sky
Bands of light layer on top of each other reaching into the sky
Lights blend together
Layers seem to move like a wave slowly in the sky
Shapes of the Northern Lights
Both static and dynamic throughout the night sky
Minimum solar flares - produce a blanket strip type of light without much definition or varying colour
Strong solar flares - become dynamic which swirls, dances and even races in curtains and columns in a random path throughout the sky.
The colours merge and diverge from greens to reds and violets.
The bright dancing lights of the Northern Lights or A
urora Borealis
are actually collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun that enter the earth's atmosphere

When gaseous particles from the Earth's atmosphere collide with the charged particles emitted from the sun, the Northern Lights result

The variety of colors during the Northern Lights depends on the gas
Gases that Determine the Northern Lights
Different gases at different altitudes create different colours of collisions

The most common colours are yellow and green
Between 100-300 km oxygen collisions result in yellow-to-green Northern Lights

Over 300 km oxygen collisions result in red Northern Lights
Hydrogen and helium typically produce shades of blue or purple

However, these colours are sometimes not visible to the human eye against the night sky
Nitrogen collisions in the atmosphere typically produce a pink or crimson fringe

Nitrogen can also collide to cause blue Northern Lights
Oxygen Continued
At higher altitudes the atmosphere is less dense and as a result it takes more time and energy to produce red light than green-to-yellow light at low altitudes
ACTIVITY
Since the pressure decreases at a higher altitude the volume increases

This means there is less gases at higher altitudes, which explains why the average height of the Northern Lights is 100-300km
Primarily occur in the thermosphere.
Charged particles from space collide with atoms and molecules at high latitudes
Excites them into higher energy states.
Shed excess energy by emitting photons of light
Aurora in the Thermosphere
Table Of Contents
Video............................................................................slide 1

What are the Northern Lights?................................slides 2-4

Northern Lights Explained......................................slides 5-6

Gases that Determine the Northern Lights..........slides 7-17

Connection to Boyle's Law..................................slides 18-19

Best Time to Watch the Northern Lights.............slides 20-22

Aurora Borealis...................................................slides 23-24

Aurora in the Thermosphere...............................slides 25-26

Shapes of the Northern Lights............................slides 27-28

Activity.................................................................slides 29-32
Full transcript