How Everything Works
How Everything Works How Everything Works
 

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
 
Question 347

What causes the colors in the aurora borealis?
These colors come from the atomic fluorescence of particles high above the earth's surface. As charged particles from the sun's "solar wind" spiral through the earth's magnetic field toward its poles, they collide with one another and with atoms in the earth's upper atmosphere. The energy of such collisions can excite the atoms involved and cause them to emit light.
         

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