What Makes The Northern Lights?

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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

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Left our tree up and redecorated for the Superbowl, GO HAWKS!
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Photo taken on 01-20-2015. My brother and I decided to get out of the house and go stretch our legs at picnic Park in Seattle and we were sitting on the shore watching the sun start to set and we saw the Seahawks logo appear over the Puget Sound and I started photographing it.