Heavenly Lights The Northern Lights Jurgen Lika
What are the Northern Lights? The Auroras are a beautiful phenomena which attracts a lot of tourists. Auroras or better known as the Northern Lights are a natural lights display in the Sky, usually observed at Night in the Polar regions. They typically occur in the ionosphere. They are also referred to as polar auroras. In northern latitudes, the effect is known as the aurora borealis, named after the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora.
How is it formed? Auroras are formed when Solar Wind is released by the Sun in the direction of the Earth The wind is a plasma full of charged particles. The Deflected plasma leaves a trail along the magnetosphere known as the Magneto tail. The Earth’s Well developed Magnetosphere deflects the wind along the magnetic field lines. Some plasma is trapped in the Earth’s polar cusp where it travels towards the Earth’s inner atmosphere near the polar region. The plasma then reacts with atoms in the atmosphere and light energy is released in the form.
Forms and Colours Auroras can be red, green, blue and violet. Different particles are produced when the charged particles collide with different gasses, in the atmosphere, mostly compounds of nitrogen and oxygen. The lights can take various forms; most common are arcs, bends and curtains. These forms may be shaped by the Earths magnetic field lines.
Are they useful? Up to 1000.000 megawatts of electricity can be generated by the solar wind in a single auroral display. It can interfere with power lines; radio and TV broadcasts and satellite communications. The Sodankyla Geographical Observatory. In Finnish Lapland, is an important centre for study of the geographical phenomenon. Scientists study auroras to find out more about solar winds and how it affects the Earths atmosphere and also to explore the possibilities of HARNESSING THE ENERGY.
Northern Lights in Folklore The Finnish name for northern lights is revontulet, fox fires. According to legend, foxes made of fire lived in Lapland, and revontulet were the sparks they whisked up into the atmosphere with their tails. In Estonian they are called virmalised, spirit beings of higher realms. In some legends they are given negative characters, in some positive ones. The Sami people believed that one should be particularly careful and quiet when observed by the northern lights (called guovssahasat in Northern Sami). Mocking the northern lights or singing about them was believed to be particularly dangerous and could cause the lights to descend on the mocker and kill him/her. The Algonquin believed the lights to be their ancestors dancing around a ceremonial fire. In Latvian folklore northern lights, especially if red and observed in winter, are believed to be fighting souls of dead warriors, an omen foretelling disaster (especially war or famine, called Kāvi, from the name kaut (means to kill). In Russian folklore aurora borealis was associated with the fire dragon ("Ognenniy Zmey"), who came to women and seduced them in the absence of their husbands.