What Is the Difference Between Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis and Why Do Auroras Occur?

Auroras, or aurora borealis (northern lights) in the Northern Hemisphere and aurora australis (southern lights) in the Southern Hemisphere, occur when the particles that constantly stream from the sun’s surface, called the solar wind, approach the Earth’s magnetic field.

Some of these particles collide with oxygen and nitrogen atoms in the upper atmosphere, creating a colorful glow in the oval-shaped areas centered over the Earth’s geomagnetic North and South Poles.

An aurora is usually observed at night and usually occurs in the ionosphere.

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