Uploaded on March 19, 2013
2013-03-19 - The Northern Lights in this high-definition video were captured on the night of March 16-17, 2013, by the AuroraMAX observatory near Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.
This colourful display was fueled by a massive eruption from the Sun two days earlier, when Sunspot 1692 erupted and released a burst of charged particles known as a coronal mass ejection. This solar storm produced a blast of the solar wind that travelled towards Earth at estimated speeds of over 800 km/second. Earth's magnetic field took a direct hit, resulting in a moderate (G2) geomagnetic storm. Green auroras were seen across most of Canada in the wee hours of St. Patrick's Day Green auroras are produced when charged particles (electrons) interact with oxygen in Earth's atmosphere. The more rare shades of pink, purple and red near the end of the movie are the result of high-energy electrons colliding with both oxygen and nitrogen in the upper atmosphere.
Each night during the aurora season, AuroraMAX broadcasts the Northern Lights live. Science is beautiful.
(Credits: Canadian Space Agency, University of Calgary, Astronomy North)
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