Named for the Roman goddess of dawn, the aurora is a mysterious and unpredictable display of light in the night sky. The aurora borealis and aurora australis – often called the northern
lights and southern lights – are common occurrences at high northern and southern latitudes, less frequent at mid-latitudes, and seldom seen near the equator. While usually a milky greenish color, auroras can also show red, blue, violet, pink, and white. These colors appear in a variety of continuously changing shapes. Sometimes the aurora is so dim and scattered as to be mistaken for clouds or the Milky Way; sometimes it is bright enough to read by.
Auroras are a spectacular sign that our planet is electrically connected to the Sun. These light shows are provoked by energy from the Sun and fueled by electrically charged particles trapped in Earth’s magnetic field. While beautiful to behold, they can be a nui-sance to those who depend on modern technology.