This lucky photographer caught the aurora borialis looking like leaves on this tree! Triggered by solar explosions, aurora are caused by high energy electrons impacting the Earth's atmosphere around 93 miles up. The unusual Earth-sky collaboration was witnessed earlier this month in Iceland.
The Aurora is an incredible light show caused by collisions between electrically charged particles released from the sun that enter the earth's atmosphere and collide with gases such as oxygen and nitrogen. The lights are seen around the magnetic poles of the northern and southern hemispheres. Is this a special event in our solar system?
Our planetary neighbors it appears experience the same phenomenon:
A close up of Saturn's northern lights taken by Cassini satellite just recently.
Jupiter's Northern Lights. These auroras are slightly different from Earth's, because their atmospheres and poles are different.
Jupiter's Lights on both poles.
From Mars Rover Curiosity.
Each of the gas giants (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune) has a strong magnetic field, a dense atmosphere and, as a result, its own aurora. The exact nature of these auroras is slightly different from Earth’s, since their atmospheres and magnetospheres are different. The colors, for example, depend on the gases in the planet’s atmosphere. But the basic idea behind the auroras is the same.
Most planets outside our solar system are too dim compared to their parent star for us to see if they have auroras. But scientists recently discovered a brown dwarf (an object bigger than a planet but not big enough to burn like a star) 18 light years from Earth that is believed to have a bright red aurora. This raises the possibility of discovering other exoplanets with atmospheres and magnetic fields that have their own auroras.
This is an artists idea of the brown dwarf...Do you remember what a brown dwarf is made of and where it came from?
Low mass star to Red Giant to White Dwarf; super hot not very bright to brown dwarf burning the last of its fuel, which is carbon and oxygen....
Look! Uranus has a blue aurora!
Investigating auroras gives scientists tantalising clues about a planet’s magnetic and particle environment and could further our understanding of how charged particles and magnetic fields interact. This could even unlock the answers to other physics problems, such as nuclear fusion.
Yes, everything is interesting!
I love science! Everything about the world is interesting and never boring. I love to study plants, animals, insects, and people. My favorite subjects are my students who are the most unique organisms on the planet!