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Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis)

Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis)

Dancing Light Show:

An aurora, sometimes referred to as a polar light or northern light, is a natural light display in the sky, predominantly seen in the high latitude (Arctic and Antarctic) regions, but can sometimes be seen in Cumbria when conditions allow – usually when the solar storm hitting the earth is of sufficient magnitude.

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Wikipedia: Auroras are produced when the magnetosphere is sufficiently disturbed by the solar wind that the trajectories of charged particles in both solar wind and magnetospheric plasma, mainly in the form of electrons and protons, precipitate them into the upper atmosphere (thermosphere/exosphere), where their energy is lost.

The resulting ionization and excitation of atmospheric constituents emits light of varying colour and complexity. The form of the aurora, occurring within bands around both polar regions, is also dependent on the amount of acceleration imparted to the precipitating particles.

Precipitating protons generally produce optical emissions as incident hydrogen atoms after gaining electrons from the atmosphere. Proton auroras are usually observed at lower latitudes.

The featured image above, is a composite view, from Dent Fell, in West Cumbria.

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