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Myths&Legends: Aurora Borealis
Transcript of Myths&Legends: Aurora Borealis
Aurora Borealis What effect does the Aurora Borealis have on stories and myths of the world? What is the Aurora Borealis? How does it work? Are there any negative effects because of the Aurora Borealis? What are some stories/myths of the Northern Lights? Conclusion Citations The Aurora Borealis has had a great impact on people all over the world, mostly in the Northern Hemisphere. It has been believed to be spirits dancing in the sky, curses, a "sign", bad omens, illness, disease, a dragon's fiery breath, a great wonder of beauty, and an atmospheric phenomenon The Aurora Borealis, commonly known as the Northern Lights, is a reaction between solar atoms with elements of Earth's atmosphere, causing color-changing lights. It generally occurs above the Arctic Circle and is most commonly seen in the twilight and nighttime hours Many different cultures believed the Northern Lights to be dancing spirits. Norwegian cultures believed these spirits to be “old maids dancing in the sky and waving,” multiple Eskimo tribes thought the lights were spirits of infants who were stillborn, while another Eskimo tribe further south believed these were the spirits of animals. Greek and other northern-European countries thought that these were ancient heroes battling through the sky. On the few occasions the Northern Lights visited Europe, many of the people interpreted these as bad omens or illness floating in the sky ("Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights, in Mythology and Folklore" 1). There are no direct negative effects of the Northern Lights. Some people who were unused to seeing these lights, such as those in Europe and Asia, feared these lights as bad omens or illness, but Aurora Borealis has never caused harm to the Earth or its inhabitants. There have been many speculations and beliefs relating to the Northern Lights creating great mythological tales, but thanks to modern science and technology, we know that the Aurora Borealis is only a natural interaction of our surroundings. The Northern Lights today are viewed with awe and an extreme sense of beauty; many will travel great distances to see this beautiful phenomenon. The Aurora Borealis is centered around the North magnetic pole and occurs when highly charged electrons from solar wind interact with elements in the Earth's atmosphere. When solar rays reach the earth they follow the magnetic force generated by Earth's core " All of the magnetic and electrical forces react with one another in constantly shifting combinations. These shifts and flows can be seen as the auroras "dance" moving along with the atmospheric currents"
The lights change colors based on the envoironment of the particles.
Green - oxygen, up to 150 miles in altitude
Red - oxygen, above 150 miles in altitude
Blue - nitrogen, up to 60 miles in altitude
Purple/violet - nitrogen, above 60 miles in altitude
("How Does Aurora Borealis (the Northern Lights) Work?" 1) "Perhaps the loveliest of the beliefs comes from the Algonquin Indians. They believed that Nanahbozho the Creator, after he finished creating the earth, traveled to the far north, where he still builds great fires which reflect southward, to remind those he created of his lasting love" ("Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights, in Mythology and Folklore" 1). Works Cited
Astronomy Picture of the Day. N.d. Photograph. APOD: 2004 July 30. By Philippe Moussette. 30 July 2004. Web. 13 Nov. 2012. <http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap040730.html>.
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"How Does the Aurora Borealis (the Northern Lights) Work?" HowStuffWorks. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Nov. 2012. <http://science.howstuffworks.com/nature/climate-weather/atmospheric/question471.htm>.
Joiken, Anniina. "Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights, in Mythology and Folklore." Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights, in Mythology and Folklore. Luminarium, 4 Feb. 2007. Web. 12 Nov. 2012. <http://www.luminarium.org/mythology/revontulet.htm>.
N.d. Photograph. By Joshua Strang. 18 Jan. 2005. Web.
"Northern Lights Legends, Myths and Superstitions." Northern Lights Legends, Myths and Superstitions. Athropolis Productions Limited, n.d. Web. 12 Nov. 2012. <http://www.athropolis.com/arctic-facts/fact-nlights-ancient.htm>.
A Space Rainbow. N.d. Photograph. Satisfied Buddhist - Domo Geshe Rinpoche. 4 Aug. 2010. Web. 13 Nov. 2012. <http://satisfiedbuddhist.blogspot.com/2010/08/space-rainbow.html>.
Welker, Glenn. "Legends and Folklore of the Northern Lights." Legends and Folklore of the Northern Lights. N.p., 30 July 2007. Web. 12 Nov. 2012. <http://www.indigenouspeople.net/aurora.htm>. ("Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights, in Mythology and Folklore" 1). ("How Does the Aurora Borealis (the Northern Lights) Work?" 1). ("How Does the Aurora Borealis (the Northern Lights) Work?" 1). ("A Space Rainbow" 1) ("NASA Pic of the Day: The Northern Lights" 1) ("Astronomy Picture of the Day" 1)