aurora borealis

20 Stories

To Understand Northern Lights, 'Think About Surfing'
Scientist Say They Now Know
How an Aurora Occurs
new study

Scientist Say They Now Know How an Aurora Occurs

A group of physicists re-created the wave that causes the northern lights

(Newser) - Physicists say they know how the awe-inspiring aurora borealis light shows are formed and can for the first time prove it in a lab. It all has to do with surfing and waves. Electrons traveling to Earth can catch waves, called Alfvén waves, which pick them up and throw...

No Promises, but Aurora Borealis May Be Heading Our Way

Unpredictable sky show may appear in skies over northern United States on Thursday

(Newser) - The sun had a somewhat volatile week, and as a result, parts of the northern United States may get a rare sky show Thursday night . Per USA Today and AccuWeather , a solar flare burst out of the sun on Monday, producing a coronal mass ejection (CME)—a ball of plasma...

How 'Dancing Lights' Might Explain the Titanic Tragedy

A 'Greenish'
Light May Have
Sunk the Titanic
new study

A 'Greenish' Light May Have Sunk the Titanic

Weather researcher Mila Zinkova points to 'dancing lights' in the sky

(Newser) - The RMS Titanic sank after hitting an iceberg in 1912, claiming over 1,500 lives—that we know. But what if the ill-fated collision was caused by dancing lights in the sky? So argues Titanic researcher Mila Zinkova in a new paper , the Smithsonian reports. "Most people who write...

You Might Be Able to See Northern Lights Sunday Night

Skywatchers in New York, New England, and the Dakotas could be in luck

(Newser) - Look up into the skies Sunday night and you might just get to see the aurora borealis, otherwise known as the Northern Lights. Scientists at the NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center say that aurora lights, which are usually only seen in the extreme north and south of the globe,...

Sometimes Ordinary Sky Gazers Discover What Experts Cannot

They're calling it 'Steve,' and it is a hot ribbon of gas

(Newser) - Several avid northern lights watchers who call themselves Alberta Aurora Chasers on Facebook were sharing photographs at a talk when a professor at the University of Calgary noticed something strange. The citizen scientists were referring to a purple streak of light as a "proton arc," but no proton...

Cops Stop Erratic Drivers, Hear an Awesome Excuse

'Under the influence of the aurora'

(Newser) - It turns out the northern lights can be hazardous to humans. Police in Iceland pulled over two different drivers near the airport in Keflavík because they were swerving between lanes, reports Iceland Magazine . Police thought for sure they'd made DWI stops until the drivers, both foreign tourists, explained:...

Reykjavik Swaps City Lights for Even Better Ones

Iceland's capital turns off lights for aurora borealis viewing

(Newser) - The capital of an entire country went dark Wednesday night to give residents a better view of one of nature's most stunning light shows. The BBC reports Reykjavik switched off street lights in the center of the city and in various neighborhoods for better viewing of the aurora borealis,...

Here Come the Northern Lights
 Here Come the Northern Lights 

Here Come the Northern Lights

Aurora borealis might be visible tonight, tomorrow night

(Newser) - Think of it as a little payback from Mother Nature for this week's misery : She might put on a show in the form of the northern lights, or aurora borealis, over the next few nights. Thanks to a solar flare from the sun on Tuesday, the shimmering green (and...

Vast Solar Storm Flings Plasma Toward Earth

Some flights grounded as a precaution

(Newser) - A stream of charged plasma is headed toward Earth today, thanks to the biggest solar storm since 2005. The storm poses a small, manageable threat to satellites, power grids, and other high-tech hardware, and could cause some spectacular displays of light and color, the LA Times reports. The National Oceanic...

PHOTOS: Northern Lights: Auroras Light Up Northern Skies
 Auroras Sweep Northern Skies 

Auroras Sweep Northern Skies

Solar flares hit the Earth's atmosphere, creating amazing light shows

(Newser) - As predicted last week , a solar storm that swept through the Earth's magnetic field created some incredible northern lights displays, with fantastic auroras lighting the skies from Canada to Norway, reports MSNBC . In addition to MSNBC's collection of photos and videos, you can see more photos at...

Solar Flare May Trigger Light Show Tonight

Expect some nice views of the northern lights in higher latitudes

(Newser) - It might pay to glance up at the sky late tonight. A solar flare that erupted from the sun on Thursday is sending a blob of charged gas toward Earth that could make for some dazzling displays of the northern lights, reports . (The higher latitudes, such as Alaska,...

Take a Trip Out of This World
 Take a Trip Out of This World 

Take a Trip Out of This World

18 sequences of time-lapse photography reveal our electrifying planet

(Newser) - Remember the last 'round-the-world trip we recommended? This one might be even better. It's 18 sequences of time-lapse photography (the first two over the US) taken 240 miles above the earth by the International Space Station and edited by designer Michael König . They make our home look...

Northern Lights Seen in Deep South

People as far south as Atlanta spot aurora borealis

(Newser) - The Deep South isn’t exactly the place you think of when you hear “northern lights.” But the aurora borealis was in fact visible from Oklahoma City, Memphis, and Atlanta last night, hundreds of miles farther south than is typical. "A storm on the sun's surface...

ISS Captures Southern Lights
 ISS Captures Southern Lights  

ISS Captures Southern Lights

Rare footage of Aurora Australis released

(Newser) - An increase in solar activity is causing more spectacular displays of the northern—and southern—lights, as recently captured by the crew of the International Space Station. NASA has released rare footage of the Aurora Australis, or southern lights, taken by ISS astronauts as the station passed over the Indian...

Solar Storm Boosting Northern Lights

Display could be visible as far south as Colorado

(Newser) - Bad news for telecommunications, good news for skywatchers: The sun is entering a busy period of its 11-year cycle, and solar flares are expect to affect the earth for the next several years, making the Northern Lights more spectacular and visible further south. A geomagnetic storm currently in progress is...

Northern Lights at 100-Year Low

Cycle's low point 'going on and on and on'

(Newser) - The Northern lights are rarer now than they have been for at least a century, but some spectacular light shows are probably on the way, researchers say. The phenomenon, triggered by solar winds, usually follows an 11-year cycle, rising quickly to a maximum before tapering off to a minimum. But...

Northern Lights Head South—for 1 Night

Aurora borealis may be visible in northern US tonight

(Newser) - Thanks to a plasma eruption that roiled the surface of the sun, residents of the northern US and Canada may be able to enjoy a spectacular show tonight—the Northern Lights. "This eruption is directed right at us, and is expected to get here early in the day on...

Huge Holes Found in Earth's Magnetic Shield

The Earth is in for a wild geomagnetic ride

(Newser) - Scientists have discovered two large and unexpected holes in the magnetic field that protects the Earth from solar winds, reports The leaks won't pose any risk to health, but increased disruption to satellites and electrical systems can be expected when the cycle of solar storms reaches its next...

Scientists Explain Northern Lights

Finding could help scientists predict storms that take out satellites

(Newser) - Scientists say they have solved the mystery of what causes the dazzling northern lights to seemingly dance across the sky, Wired reports. The light show, also known as aurora borealis, is triggered by explosions of magnetic energy about 80,000 miles away. The findings—drawn from five NASA satellites working...

Space Tours to Northern Lights
Space Tours to Northern Lights

Space Tours to Northern Lights

Virgin Galactic to offer flights into heart of aurora borealis

(Newser) - Virgin Galactic plans to launch sightseeing tours into the heart of the northern lights—a first for humans—within three years. If all goes to plan, passengers willing to pay $200,000 a ticket will board spacecraft from north of the Arctic Circle to head for the edge of space,...

20 Stories
Popular on Newser
We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.