The beautiful shine of the Northern Lights has created quite the show in many parts of Canada including here in Lethbridge. Locke Spencer, an Associate Professor for the Department of Astronomy at the University of Lethbridge, says as the sun’s rays get twisted and tangled, they then eject and release solar atmosphere and particles out into space. That is how we get the Northern Lights.
“And so as they come towards the Earth, they get sort of mixed up with the Earth’s magnetic field and are drawn towards the poles. It’s more common to be drawn toward the North Pole, and as they charge in and hit our atmosphere they can excite our atmosphere. We see these hazy glows moving around that are just having to do with where the magnetic field lines are and how these particles are exciting our atmosphere. Then as it relaxes it has these colours that it glows.”
You can sign up for aurora notifications online by visiting the Aurora Watch website here https://www.aurorawatch.ca/content/view/26/60/