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10 amazing things you didn’t know about the Northern lights

Polar (North) lights — a natural phenomenon of extraordinary beauty, the phenomenon which excites minds of humanity for centuries. Indeed, what could be better than a game of color and light surrounded by stars? But how much do we know about this beauty?

And today, we’ve collected ten interesting facts about this amazing miracle.

Northern lights seen from space

From space Northern lights can be seen even better, so much so that it feels like you can touch it. The international space station continuously takes pictures of the Aurora from space.

Northern lights is difficult to predict

Many cosmic phenomena, such as meteor shower, for example, scientists can predict. Northern lights is difficult to predict as to know the shape of the magnetic field in coronal mass ejection difficult. Scientists can’t accurately specify the direction of the lights until, before it will start.

There are also southern lights

We used the term “Northern lights”, but this does not mean that this phenomenon can be observed only in the North. In the South, a fascinating natural phenomenon too, and it’s called the southern polar lights.

The next big cycle will be in 2024

On the intensity and variety of colors of the Northern lights reflected solar activity. Its cycle is 11 years. In recent times, scientists have documented the extraordinary solar activity in 2013 so that in 2024 we are waiting for a show.

Different ions give different colours

We’ve learned that the colors of the rainbow unchanged. However, when we are talking about the Northern lights, we can’t say for sure what colors we will see. Colors depend on what the atmospheric gases collide. For example, the oxygen turns green color, nitrogen gives a blue or reddish, and helium — a cross between blue and purple.

Northern lights studied by many famous people

Like other natural phenomena, the Northern lights have attracted the attention of many famous minds in history. And who wouldn’t be interested in this amazing and mysterious beauty? Aristotle, Seneca, Descartes, Tycho Brahe, and Benjamin Franklin tried to discover all the secrets of the Northern lights.

Galileo Galilei and Pierre Gassendi first gave the Northern lights the name

Italian astronomer, physicist, engineer and philosopher Galileo Galilei had, as you know, a lot of talent. He was called the father of science, father of modern physics, and he greatly influenced the scientific world of the Renaissance. So it is not surprising that he gave the name of the natural phenomenon of the Northern lights. However, Pierre Gassendi at the same time called this phenomenon as well.

Northern lights more than it

Northern lights is fascinating, because it seems that it is very close. It seems that it sails right over your head. But this is only an optical illusion. Virtually all the action takes place approximately a hundred kilometers above the ground, and the red color appear at all at a distance of 320 kilometers.

In different cultures there are legends about the Northern lights

Before the beginning of the development of science, people explained natural phenomena differently. The Maori tribe in New Zealand and many of the inhabitants of Northern Europe and North America believed that the Northern lights is a reflection of torches and fires. The Menominee Indians of Wisconsin believed that the lights shows where are the giants, who were Ghost hunters and fishermen. The Inuit of Alaska believed that the lights the lights were the souls of animals and people.

Northern lights is not only on Earth

The Northern lights are not a feature of our planet. It is found on other planets and is also near their magnetic poles. Astronomers have photographed the lights on Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

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