20 Aurora Borealis Facts You will Love to Know

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20 facts about the Aurora Borealis or the Northern Lights nobody has told you before, read this article, and learn more about the aurora borealis with hello aurora app!

Have you ever curious about how the aurora was made? Who first spotted it? Does it have a name? Why it appears the way you see it?  

Don’t worry, you are not the only one. That is why we’ve put together our 20 Aurora Borealis Facts you will love to know. Get ready and learn more about the Northern Lights together!

Northern Lights above the mountain

Northern Lights above the mountain

20 Aurora Borealis Facts

1. What happened in China?

Even though the first recorded aurora borealis was in 567BC, the phenomenon has occurred many centuries before the identification which once appeared in China in the year 193BC. ⁠

2. The first dateable aurora borealis

The earliest datable Northern Lights observation was in 567BC by King Nebuchadnezzar II. The phenomenon was described as "a red glow" in the sky at night which interprets this phenomenon as an aurora display. ⁠

3. The crackling sound

The Northern Lights does make a sound. According to a study from a Finnish researcher Unto K. Laine, the colourful displays of the Northern Lights produced a crackling sound which related to the electromagnetic renounces of the Earth! ⁠

4. Why aurora borealis?

The name aurora borealis came from the well-known astronomer Galileo Galilei which he combined the name of the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, and the Greek name for wind, Boreas. Together become Aurora Borealis. 

5. Can you see the aurora from other planets?

⁠Yes, Aurora can be seen from other planets in our solar systems such as Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Mars.

Couple looking at the aurora borealis in the sky

Couple looking at the aurora borealis in the sky

7. No Northern Lights shape the same

Each night is different depends on where in the magnetosphere the electrons came from and what causes them to engage in the atmosphere.⁠

8. The colours of the aurora are always changes

Same with the shape, the colours of the Northern Lights are also always changed. It depends on what gas is being produced by electrons and how much energy is changed. ⁠The green-yellowish lights are formed by oxygen and the blue lights are caused by nitrogen. ⁠

9. Red aurora

Red Northern Lights is very rare to see but possible. Red lights are often only produced at the 200-300 kilometers in the atmosphere but we can see them when the aurora strength is exceptionally strong. ⁠

Curtain aurora shaped dancing in the sky

Curtain aurora shaped dancing in the sky

10. Curtains

There are many shapes of aurora borealis, one of them is "curtains". Curtains are the most common shape of which has a wavy appearance.

Aurora shaped like an arc stretching over the horizontal

Aurora shaped like an arc stretching over the horizontal

11. Arcs

Another type of aurora are Arcs. Which mostly appear at the beginning of the show. They will start to display as a shape of an arc then stretches thousands of kilometers in the horizontals and verticals. ⁠

Arc aurora expanding over the ocean

Arc aurora expanding over the ocean

12. Band

Another shape of aurora-like Arc is Band. A band recognizes as a form of an arc, except the border is not as smooth and appears in the shape of twisting and curving. ⁠

13. Patches

The rarely seen aurora form is Patches. It has surfaces that look like clouds expanding all over the sky. Patches have a less concentrated brightness than other forms of aurora but will give you a dramatic feeling when you spot one. ⁠

14. Corona

This aurora shape has the most famous word in 2020, it begins with the letter C and it is called “Corona”👹👾. Corona or Coronae are known to be the most impressive type of aurora which occurs when the activity is extremely strong. ⁠

15. Aurora moves fast

The Northern Lights solar particles move 7 million miles per hour which takes one to 5 days to reach the Earth depending on the solar wind speeds. ⁠

16. What is the Northern Lights in the Nordic languages?

The word “Northern Lights” starts with N in any Nordic languages except in Finish, it starts with R which is Revontulet. In Danish and Norwegian are Nordlys, Norrsken in Swedish and Norðuljós in Icelandic.

Northern Lights over a city

Northern Lights over a city

17. You have to be patience

Catching the Northern Lights requires a lot of patience. The average visibility is between 5 pm to 4 am for each location. You surely don't want to wait all night this is why we have the feature where the app will send you the Northern Lights alerts through our Northern Lights app once a substorm1 is active or when someone spotted the aurora.⁠ 

18. Japanese culture

In Japanese culture, people believed that children who were born underneath the aurora will be blessed with good look, intelligence, and success.⁠

19. Cold temperature

Cold temperature has very little thing to do with observing the Northern Lights. The Northern Lights are active all year long, just you can see more in the wintertime due to darkness. In short, it doesn't need to be cold to see the aurora it just needs to be dark and have a strong aurora strength2

Iceberg in the Arctic country

Iceberg in the Arctic country

20. What is the weather like in the Arctic countries?

The weather in the Arctic countries can change often. That is why we have weather alerts and road conditions within the app. 

We hope you learned something new from this article. Make sure to read more about each Northern Lights parameters here. We've also grouped together all the facts above and put it into one picture. Check it out and share them with your aurora enthusiast friends 🤓.

  1. substorm : when the aurora's activity gets better for sighting. ⁠
  2. aurora strength : It is a value calculated by multiple magnetometers located in different places in the Nordics countries. The more negative the value is the more chance you will see the aurora.

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