Meteorology and Weather
Atmospheric Sciences
Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis

How Aurora Borealis is formed?


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August 15, 2010 6:28PM

The Aurora Borealis is made when storms on the the sun form solar winds, or large streams of charged particles streaming toward the earth.These streams could have upward of ten million megawatts of electrical power. That is enough power to light up Los Angeles. It generally takes about three days for these streams of particles to reach the earth's upper atmosphere, or ionosphere. When these charged particles hit the earth's atmosphere, they excite the atoms contained in the atmosphere. These excited atoms have a higher energy state that usual and so want to get back to a more normal energy state. The excited atoms give off excess energy in the form of heat, or the case of the aurora borealis, light.