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Northern Lights The Northern Light are poetry, nature’s light show, and are quantum leaps in the oxygen atom. They are elementary particle physics, superstition, mythology, and fairy tales. The Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis have filled us with wonder and inspired artists; they have frightened people to think the world’s end was at hand. More exact explanations of the phenomenon could not be given until modern physics was refined, and knowledge of the Earth’s magnetosphere was obtained from satellite data. Still people wonder what causes this effect we call the Northern Lights. Races of people throughout history concocted or reasoned explanations of the Northern Lights. The Canadians in the region of Ontario, Ottawa, have a belief that the Aurora was brought into being by the creator of the Earth, Nanahboozha, as a warning to mankind of impending danger. As theses primitive Indians believed, so did many others. On the other hand, Galileo Galiei, one of the greatest astronomer/physicists in history, had an explanation more along the lines of what is held true today. “… An effect in my opinion which has no other origin than that a part on vapor-laden air surrounding the Earth is for some reason unusually rarefied…so that it’s upper part’s are struck by the sun and made able to reflect it’s splendor to us, forming the Northern lights.”

To correct Galileo, we start with the sun whose energy production fluctuates on an 11-year cycle . Maximum production coincides with high sunspot activity when processes on the sun’s surface throw particles far into space. These particles are the so-called “solar wind” and cause the Northern Lights. The solar particles reach the Earth as a sort of solar rain that comes in waves. Particles hitting the atmosphere cause a reaction to occurs creating undulating ribbons of light as the waves of solar matter bombard the atmosphere. As we can see, the real reason for the Northern lights existence is quite different from ideas of generations past. Myths, Gods, and many stories have come about due to the phenomenon known as the Northern Lights; many false but believed by the people of the time. Who knows? Our reasons for the Northern Lights could be totally wrong also. For all we know about atmospheric phenomenon, much more is unknown. by jeremy17171717@hotmail.com

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