A natural phenomenon that few get to see, the aurora borealis, were visible from parts of Europe and Russia over the weekend…
Mesmerising photos captured the stunning northern lights from Iceland, the UK, and even the Russian Arctic coast over the previous weekend.
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In the meantime, predictions have suggested that the northern lights might have been visible from parts of the US. However, foggy, rainy, or overcast skies hindered views across the continent, as CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar explained.
The northern lights – as well as the southern lights visible from the Southern Hemisphere – are the result of electrons colliding with the upper reaches of the Earth’s atmosphere, as per experts.
The electrons are energized through acceleration processes. The accelerated electrons then follow the magnetic field of Earth down to the polar regions, where they collide with oxygen and nitrogen atoms and molecules in Earth’s upper atmosphere.
It’s in these collisions that the electrons transfer their energy to the atmosphere and excite the atoms and molecules to higher energy states. When they relax back down to lower energy states, they release energy in the form of light – aka Aurora Borealis.
Have you ever been lucky enough to see the northern lights?