MLA Citation: Bloomfield, Louis A. "Question 347"
How Everything Works 19 Apr 2018. 19 Apr 2018 <http://howeverythingworks.org/print1.php?QNum=347>.
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.

Return to HowEverythingWork.org
Generated for printing on Thursday, April 19, 2018 at 15:17:19 EDT
Copyright 1997-2018 © Louis A. Bloomfield, All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy