One of the many things I love about the world as an individual is the chance to spectate, even if a glimpse, of some of the most breathtaking and theatrical natural beauties – in this case is in the form of auroras.
On the 24th October 2011, Michigan was treated to an amazing show of Northern Lights, as the skies at dusk exploded in green, red, yellow, blue and white.
Auroras, as most would know, are beautiful sky lights, produced by the collision of solar particles with the atmospheric pressure, bursting and producing lights. The different lights are a result of the collision process at different levels of atmosphere. In simple terms, I’ll just use low, medium, and high. The green lights are produced when the collision of solar wind and atmospheric pressure are at the ‘low’ atmospheric level, meaning closest to ground level (about 100 kilometers above). The red occurs at a much higher level – high – at approximately 300-500 kilometers above ground level. We often see, from Northern and Southern Earths at the Earth’s magnetic fields, green auroras.
The green auroras, as most commonly seen and caught in medias are the products of low amounts of solar particles emitted from the sun. From time to time the sun would have small ‘expulsions’ releasing solar gases into the atmosphere. So the visibility of the auroras are an indication of the amount of solar particles that reaches our atmosphere.
These are some pictures of auroras that I found in my folders:
Auroras are most often found in the Northern and Southern parts of Earth because that is where the magnetic fields are weakest. Therefore, the solar particles are capable of penetrating into the Earth’s weak atmospheric pressure. With this, it is quite accurate to assume that the atmospheric pressure across Earth should be, well.. strong.
So, what the hell are the aurora’s doing in Michigan, near center of the earth?
Edit: Richard Walker, a specialist at Flint’s Longway Planetarium, said that the sun’s solar magnetic cycle – which refers to the amount of radiation produced – is at it’s peak now. This would mean that there is a possibility that more auroras could be seen. Which also means that the north and south should be experiencing endless explosions of auroras. <- And this is a reason why I’m so brown right now.
Video of Michigan’s spectacular Northern Light show, 24th October 2011.