What is the Aurora Borealis?

Question posed by Barb.

The Aurora Borealis is the same thing as the Aurora Australis, except they happen in different places. These effects are also known, respectively, as the Northern and Southern Lights.

They are, in short, displays of light visible now and again in the night sky if you're either very far north (for the Aurora Borealis) or very far south (for the Aurora Australis). The lights appear as either a diffuse glow or as vast curtains of light stretching across the sky. They can be green, red or blue* in colour.

Here's a beautiful time-lapse video of an aurora borealis taken from the border of Russia:

If you'd like to know more about what causes them, head over to an older post, What are the Northern Lights? and if you think the images you've seen so far are other-worldly, then you'd probably enjoy finding out what it's like to fly over an aurora.

* Or mixtures of those, so brownish and purplish colours are possible too)


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