AuroraB_July_2012_BPP_i8

The name “aurora borealis” was given by Galileo Galilei, in 1619 A.D., inspired from the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, and Boreas from the Greek name for north wind. First record siting was in 2600 B.C. in China. Collision between oxygen particles in Earth’s atmosphere with charged (ionized) particles released from the sun creates green and yellow luminous colors beginning at altitudes of 50 miles (80 kilometers). Blue or purplish-red is produced from nitrogen particles. The solar particles are attracted attracted by the Earth’s northern and southern magnetic poles with curtains of light stretching east to west.

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Aurora borealis, photographed in Everett, WA on July 15th 2012. Photo by David Johanson Vasquez © All Rights for story on solar storms in: http://www.ScienceTechTablet.wordpress.com & http://www.BigPictureOne.wordpress.com

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