Monday, December 3, 2007

Auroras, magic fireworks of nature...

Ever heard of auroras?? do you know what is it?? any idea??

how about nothern lights?? ring any bell??

haha, guessed most people don't know what is it. THough i cant really remembered when was the 1st time i heard of auroras, but i'm sure that i fell in love with it when i knew what was auroras.

How bout these 2 pictures?? Saw the colourful lightings??? those are AURORAs...:)

SO WHAT ACTUALLY IS THIS AURORAs??? There are known as the brilliant curtains of light seen in the night sky. THis was a saying from a website:

"Of all naturally occuring heavenly phenomena, few come close to a night
with a magnificent northern lights display. Flickering curtains of dancing
light against the dark skies, northern lights is certainly one of the most
spectacular of nature's phenomena."

A well-known author after watching a beautiful aurora in its fullest splendour, concluded, "No pencil can draw it, no colours can paint it and no words can describe it in all its magnificence."

Auroras are natural colored light displays, which are usually observed in the night sky, particularly in the polar zone. Some scientists therefore call them "polar auroras" (or "aurorae polaris").

In northern latitudes, it is known as the aurora borealis named after the Roman goddess of the dawn, Aurora, and the Greek name for north wind, Boreas. Especially in Europe, it often appears as a reddish glow on the northern horizon, as if the sun were rising from an unusual direction. The aurora borealis is also called the northern lights, as it is only visible in the North sky from the northern hemisphere. The aurora borealis most often occurs from September to October and from March to April.

Its southern counterpart, aurora australis, has similar properties. Australis is the Latin word for "of the South".

Aurora Borealis - Northern Lights - Nordlys(Norwegian)
Aurora Australis - Southern Lights - Sørlys(Norwegian)
Aurora Polaris - Polar lights - Polarlys(Norwegian) (both northern and southern lights)

Auroras are now known to be caused by the collision of charged particles (ions (+) (-) ) found in the magnetosphere, with atoms in the Earth's upper atmosphere (at altitudes above 80 km). These particles travel into space with speeds of 300 to 1200 kilometers per second. A cloud of these particles is called plasma, and a stream of plasma coming from the sun is called solar wind. They collide with atoms of gases in the atmosphere, and the atoms become excited. Shortly afterwards, the atoms emit their gained energy as light. Light emitted by the Aurora tends to be dominated by emissions from atomic oxygen, resulting in a greenish glow (at a wavelength of 557.7 nm) and at higher altitudes - the dark-red glow (at 630.0 nm of wavelength). Many other colors - especially those emitted by atomic and molecular nitrogen (blue and purple, respectively).

Check out this website for more photos and informations check out Sigurdur H Stefnisson 's photos. He took many great shots on auroras and capture the colour of auroras in its best. Here's are some of his photos.

I thinked anyone who know what is it will certainly like it or hope to actually see one in their lifetime with their own eyes, which is what i dream and hope of. I really really hope to see and capture this magnificient view at least once in my lifetime, and hopefully with my love one, haha. Dream too much?? I doubt, now there are tours operate to bring you to see one, however, it depends on your luck alot to see one. Who knows i might have the chance in the future when i got the money.

TRIPS to watch these spectacular view are available in those countries as i mentioned on top where these auroras are common e.g. ireland, alaska, etc. However, the package is not cheap, and normally the package is for a few days at least to 1 week. The chase for the auroras depend solely on guide's experiences, luck as well as weather forecast. Cloudy weathers will jeopardised the lookout for auroras. Auroras phenomenas are more common when there are solar storms. Well, i wondered will i ever have the chance to see one !!!???

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