Weather Tidbits: Aurora Formation
This Weather Tidbits explains how auroras are formed. Auroras form when solar wind, which are charged protons and electrons that are emitted from the sun; flow and follow the earth’s magnetic field. They enter the earth’s atmosphere where the field is weakest which is at the poles. Those electrons collide with various molecules in the atmosphere; where the resulting excitation of these collisions causes varying colors, based on the height and type of molecules hit. Oxygen molecules produce red and green auroras, while nitrogen molecules create blue and pink auroras.