Watch a natural “light show”

  In the clear night sky near the two poles of the earth, people often see colorful, different shapes and incomparable brilliance. It sometimes appears for a short time, like a festive firework flashing in the air and disappearing without a trace; sometimes it can shine in the sky for hours. It is so bright that it can even obscure the brilliance of the stars and the moon. Its colors are red, blue, green, white, purple and rose red. Its shape is sometimes like a streamer dancing in the air, sometimes like a throbbing flame, sometimes like a huge colorful screen. This kind of nature’s “fire trees and silver flowers never sleep” scene is called the aurora.
  Since ancient times, humans have had a great interest in the mysterious auroras. During the Assyrian period from 679 BC to 655 BC, ancient Babylonian astronomers recorded what is believed to be the world’s earliest auroral event on cuneiform tablets.
  Recently, Canadian astronomer Marinus Anthony van-der-Sruiz and Nagoya University astronomer Hayakawa Naozhi, in their research on an ancient Chinese chronicle document “Ancient Book of Bamboo Books”, found that A record of auroral astronomical events. This “Ancient Book of Bamboo Books” is compiled chronologically and records the history of the Xia, Shang, Zhou, Spring and Autumn and Warring States. In addition to recording historical events, this book also records some celestial events, one of which is described as follows: “In the last years of King Zhao of Zhou, in the night of the Qing Dynasty, the five-color light penetrated into the purple and faint, and his king did not return when he toured the south.” This aurora The celestial event occurred about 3,000 years ago, more than 300 years earlier than the auroral event recorded by ancient Babylonian astronomers on cuneiform tablets.
  What is aurora? How did it come about? The so-called aurora refers to a colorful luminous phenomenon that occurs in the high magnetic latitude regions of the poles. The aurora has always been a celestial mystery that people have speculated and explored. Once upon a time, the Inuit believed that it was the torch used by ghosts to guide the souls of the dead to heaven. In the 13th century, it was thought to be light reflected from the Greenland ice sheet. It wasn’t until the 17th century that people called it the Northern Lights – the Northern Dawn (the same light seen in the South Pole is called the Aurora Borealis).
  Since the 19th century, people have had a more in-depth study and understanding of the aurora. In 1890, the Norwegian physicist Berkeland believed that the sun, 150 million kilometers away from the earth, was emitting material points to the earth almost continuously. And 50,000 to 65,000 kilometers away from the earth, there is a magnetic field that covers the earth. When the sun’s particle is blocked by this magnetic field, it spreads around the earth, looking for a gap to drill into the magnetic field. The result is about 1 % of the particles burrow into the atmosphere near the north magnetic pole. Each solar particle contains about 1,000 volts of electricity, and they meet atoms, and molecules mostly composed of oxygen and nitrogen, in the upper atmosphere 100 kilometers away. When the atoms absorb some of the energy contained in the solar particle, they immediately turn The energy is released to produce extremely intense light. Oxygen emits green and red light, and nitrogen emits purple, blue and some deep red light. These colorful colors make up the magnificent auroral scene.
  Most of the auroras occur at the north and south poles, because the earth itself is a big magnet, and the geomagnetic poles are very close to the geographical poles. Just as a compass always points south, a stream of particles sent by the sun as it approaches the Earth, under the influence of a magnetic field, flies toward the two magnetic poles in a spiral motion. Those that appear in the South Pole are called the Southern Lights, and those that appear in the North Pole are called the Northern Lights. Auroras are not only seen on Earth, but also on other planets in the solar system with magnetic fields.
  The aurora is very beautiful and is called by many people as the “light show” of nature. But to enjoy the aurora you want, you must choose the best time and place. In the Arctic and Antarctic circles, March to September (winter in the southern hemisphere) and September to March (winter in the northern hemisphere) are the best times to see the aurora.
  In the Antarctic Circle in the southern hemisphere, Stewart Island in the south of New Zealand is the most ideal place to enjoy the Southern Lights due to its remoteness and low light pollution. Ushuaia is the southernmost city in Argentina, just 800 kilometers away from Antarctica. Ushuaia is surrounded by mountains and sea, and is the best place to enjoy the Southern Lights.
  In the Arctic Circle of the Northern Hemisphere, Iceland is a country located in the aurora belt of the Arctic Circle. Fairbanks, Alaska, USA, can see the aurora more than 200 days a year and is known as the capital of the Northern Lights. In addition, the Arctic Village in Mohe City, Heilongjiang Province, my country is located in a high latitude area above 53° north latitude, and is the best place to watch the Northern Lights in the country.
  The aurora is spectacular and beautiful, and has ornamental value, but it brings great influence and harm to human beings. The strong current generated during the auroral eruption has powerful destructive power. The energy it throws in the earth’s atmosphere often disrupts radio and radar signals. The strong current it generates can even seriously interfere with power transmission lines, causing temporary loss of certain areas. electricity supply.
  In view of the impact of the aurora on humans, many scientists are conducting more in-depth research on the aurora. Because auroras have many research values, for example, by analyzing the polar spectrum, it is possible to understand the source of the falling particle beam, the type of particles, the energy size, the structure of the Earth’s magnetic tail, the interaction of the Earth’s magnetic field with the planet’s magnetic field, and the way solar disturbances affect the Earth. and degree, etc.
  Of course, there is still a long way to go to study the mysteries of the aurora, and there are still many aurora mysteries that have not been solved. It is an important mission of today’s scientific community to thoroughly study the aurora and actively use the energy generated by the aurora for the benefit of mankind.