The Polar Lights
By: Billie and Libby
- 1621 - Pierre Gassendi named them after a Roman god and goddess
What are the polar lights?
- Colorful lights that appear in different parts of the world
- they appear in many different colors such as pale green, pink, red, yellow, green, blue, and violet
- they appear in different ways in the sky- (dull glow, arcs, swirls, or streaks)
- they can be seen above the magnetic poles in the north(Aurora Borealis) and south(Aurora Australis)
how do they Happen?
- the sun interacts with the Earth's magnetic field
- generates currents of charged particles that follow magnetic force lines colliding with ions forming the colors
- "shimmering" effect is caused by fading particle explosions
Where can you see them?
- some places in Canada (Yukon, Nunavut, Northwest Territories), and some places in Alaska
- Greenland, Iceland, northern coast of Norway, and over the oceans in Siberia
- glimpses may be seen in Tasmania and New Zealand
- scientist have found that when the lights appear in the north they appear around the same time in the south and the same shades of colors
- best time to see them is in the winter or the spring on a clear night(September- April darker during these months)
- mild temperature, clear skies, and frequent displays
- best time to see them and hour and a half after sunset
- times= 11:30-3:30/ 12:30- 4:30
- Finnish- aurora borealis is "Revontulet" which is translated to "Fox Fires"--> they believed that a magical fox would sweep his tails across the snow spraying it into the air
- Lapland(Arctic circle)- believed the lights were the energies of the departed souls- when they would see the lights they were to act respectively and if they didn't they would have bad fortune or death
- Norwegian folklore- souls of old maids dancing across the sky "the merry dancers"
- Eskimos (Greenland)- souls of children that died at birth and believed that when they dances the lights would dance
- ancient heroes battling in the skies