What Makes The Northern Lights?

Tools

By By Steve Pool

SEATTLE - The Northern Lights are caused when the sun gives off electrically-charged particles from solar flares. The Earth's magnetic poles act like, well, a magnet to draw those particles to the polar regions. When the particles interact with the atmosphere, the give off the beautiful ribbons of purple, blue, red and green.

They're most common around the Arctic Circle, but during particularly strong solar flares, they can be seen as far south as Arizona.

Solar flares are supposed to increase over the next few months, so keep an eye to the northern sky on clear nights and maybe you'll catch them.

For More Information About Northern Lights:

SpaceWeather.com -- good for letting you know when a big Northern Lights Display is coming.

Northern Lights Forecast -- www.gi.alaska.edu

Northern Lights Right Now -- www.sec.noaa.gov

Viewing Tips -- www.sec.noaa.gov

Your Photos

YouNews Changes on the way Changes on the way
The cloud bands around Mt. Rainier are a sure sign of changing weather conditions. These images of Mt. Rainier were taken Thursday evening around 7:30pm with a Nikon D3000
and a 200mm telephoto lens. The dark spots on the 1st image is flock of birds (not dirt on the lens).
YouNews Wednesday morning sunrise Wednesday morning sunrise
Grabbed a few images of Mt. Rainier between 6:30am and 7:30am
before the smoke from the fires rolled back in.
YouNews Bremerton Ghost Bremerton Ghost
While conducting a basic ghost hunt on the USS Turner Joy, we captured what appears to be a face floating in the air.