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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Depew

Aurora - the green glow of the Northern Lights, are created by a solar flare.

A brief graphic video explains how the lovely moving green glow of the Northern Lights are formed from the ripples of light of a solar flare moving around the obstacle of planet Earth. See: "This is how an aurora is created." - @ValaAfshar, video. The Northern Lights can also dazzle without a solar flare, the effect is not fully understood. (

  • More information about solar flares: A Powerful Solar Flare Produces Bright Northern Lights This Week, by Eric Mack, Dec 9, 2020, (forbes).

Coronal mass ejections (CMEs) may also occur along with a solar flare and the energy that is released from the sun can disrupt radio transmission on Earth. "The flare [Dec 7, 2020] hurled x-rays that hit Earth in mere minutes, causing minor shortwave blackouts, according to astronomer Dr. Tony Phillips." (forbes).

"In the ionosphere, the ions of the solar wind collide with atoms of oxygen and nitrogen from the Earth's atmosphere. The energy released during these collisions causes a colorful glowing halo around the poles—an aurora." (nationalgeographic)

The ionosphere is a layer of the Earth's atmosphere that is 60-300 kilometers, 37-190 miles above the surface of the planet, (, and can be quite beautiful at night when glowing with the rippling glow of the Northern Lights aurora.

Northern Lights can occur without a solar flare too. Aurora Oddity: Northern Lights Display Dazzles Without Big Sun Flare, by Tariq Malik, Feb. 16, 2012, (

Many observers have mentioned hearing noise and feeling vibrations of low sounds, others have observed wisps of the aurora seeming to come down to treetop level. Eskimo legend suggests that if you whistle back to the sounds of the aurora it will come down to visit you. Auroras at the tree tops, (, -- a lovely mystery.

A starlit black night sky with glowing wisps of greenish white light streak across the sky above a glowing tent in a night dark, wilderness landscape.
The Northern Lights are seen at night. Ionic material seems to glow.

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use.

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