what is the aurora borealis?
The aurora borealis, polar light, or northern lights are collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun blown to earth by polar wind. The interaction between The gaseous particles from the earth interact with the charged particles released from the sun’s atmosphere. The collision between these protons and electrons releases kinetic energy which is emitted as light in different colors. The colors are green, blue, purple, yellow, white and red. The difference in colors depends on the type of molecules and distance from the earth the particles collide.
The most common color is a pale yellowish-green, which is produced by oxygen molecules located about 100km above the earth atmosphere. Red auroras are produced by high-altitude oxygen, at heights of up to 300kms above the earth’ atmosphere, whilst nitrogen produces blue or purplish-red aurora.
They show up in various shapes, such as arcs, patches, rippling curtains, scattered clouds and can display for a few minutes to an entire night. Have a look at our pictures below, which is a small collection of the aurora seen from the kennel, on our northern lights trip and our wilderness lodge.