Mysteries of the Sun

Space Weather

Our planet’s magnetosphere protects us from charged particles ejected from the Sun during solar storms. However, some of these particles can flow along Earth’s magnetic field lines into the upper atmosphere and induce geomagnetic storms. One of the results is a dazzling dance of colored light in the night sky, also known as aurora borealis and aurora australis (for Northern and Southern lights). When these particles enter the upper atmosphere, they collide with and excite oxygen and nitrogen atoms, creating the brilliant colors we can see with the naked eye.

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