The lights, seen as colorful snowflakes, are thought to be caused by magnetic activity in the upper atmosphere. (What is your favorite family fun trick?)
The lights are visible from northern regions of the planet. Although they are visible over the Arctic, skygazers from Alaska to southern Russia are enjoying them this year.
Although Northern Lights can only be seen by precise GPS trackers, satellite pictures from earlier this year show images of a spectrum of colors, e.g. reds and blues, seen across the north. We can only guess what the content of this spectrum may be; though NASA describes it as “fuzzy, bluish-green dots that represent plasma ‘flakes,’ really the geomagnetic field is capable of doing much more.”
They aren’t expected to disappear altogether; they may continue until midnight on Thursday (the European Space Agency, Science Now.
A weather bureau in Calgary in Canada said they were most likely made of liquid gas and charged particles, added to the atmosphere by the solar wind, which is charged particles whipped up from the sun’s gravity.
The lights are often called the “Flaming fang” lights — a visual ode to their fiery appearance.
For example, here are some of the best photos the team has shared of this year’s Northern Lights. The red one was taken from a Scotiabank 787 by Master Technician of Airway Heights Mike Schultz and is far from the best. They explain how it was an all-nighter to finish.
And if you’re wondering what is all the fuss about, here’s a visual recap of everything you need to know about the lights.
Read the full story at ABC News.