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Physicists Crack the Code for Aurora Formations

Northern lights, or what is also known as Aurora borealis, are the lights emerging in the skies of high-latitude regions and have been a fascinating concept for many people for thousands of years without much knowledge of how they are created. Many theories have been put forward regarding the emergence and formations of the Aurora borealis; however, nothing conclusive has been proven yet.

A recent study conducted by a team of physicists from the University of Iowa reported definitive evidential results stating that these exceptionally brilliant Aurora are, in fact, a result of powerful electromagnetic waves occurring during geomagnetic storms. This phenomenon is known as Alfven waves, comprises super accelerated electrons forwarding towards Earth, which causes the particles to produce resembling and familiar atmospheric light show.

The study was published on Monday, June 07, in the journal Nature Communications, concluding a decade-long search for the exact cause of such a beautiful occurrence in nature. The study ended the quest for demonstrating experimentations associated with the physical mechanisms displaying acceleration of electrons as a result of the Alfven waves under monitored conditions resembling Earth’s Aurora magnetosphere.

Through previous studies, scientists have already been acquainted with the energized particles emanating from the sun with electrons at a speed of approximately 45 million miles per hour, which precipitate into the magnetic field lines of the Earth, colliding with nitrogen, and oxygen molecules pushing them into an excited state. Excitation of molecules is followed by relaxation by emitting light, which is an endgame producing colorful hues of the Northern lights.

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