2023—Aurora Borealis

There was a full moon the other night that lit up the snow covered ground in front of the spruce forest as the Aurora Borealis danced over head at Chena Lake outside of Fairbanks. Fainter bands of green appear beneath the broader band. The Aurora Borealis occurs when solar winds and magnetic fields interact with elements in the Earth’s atmosphere, creating the colorful phenomenon. The color depends on which atoms are struck and how high up they are. Green is created when the winds collide with Oxygen atoms at altitudes of up to 150 miles. Red results when the collision occurs over 150 miles. If the collision is with Nitrogen atoms, blue and violet can appear. What amazes me is that the stars remain visible through the colors, still twinkling brightly.

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