Saturday 23 September 2017

The North Pole

Gemma O'Doherty

If you've always dreamed of seeing the Aurora Borealis, now is the time to do it. Stargazers in the USA have been treated to dazzling displays of the northern lights in recent weeks, with intense streaks of blue, green and purple piercing the skies as far south as Georgia and Alabama.

The lights form from solar particles thrown out by explosions on the sun. When they come close to Earth, they are drawn to magnetic poles, colliding with gases to emit light particles. An 11-year solar cycle reaches a peak in 2013, when this cosmic phenomenon enters a more restful phase.

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