Auroras

Facts for Prelims

Auroras

News: Recently, the Indian Astronomical Observatory (IAO) in Hanle and Merak, Ladakh, captured stunning images of an intense red-coloured aurora on the night of November 5.

About:
• Auroras, also known as the northern lights (aurora borealis) or southern lights (aurora australis), are natural light displays in the Earth’s sky. They are predominantly seen in high-latitude regions around the Arctic and Antarctic.
• The colours of auroras are produced by the type of gas molecules in the Earth’s atmosphere that the charged particles interact with. Common colours include green, pink, purple and red.
• Geomagnetic storms, triggered by solar events like coronal mass ejections (CMEs) and solar flares, enhance auroral activity.
• Scientists study auroras to gain insights into the Earth’s magnetosphere, the solar-terrestrial relationship, and the behaviour of charged particles in the atmosphere. They also use them as indicators of solar activity.

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