A Note To Parents: We make every effort for Roxanne's blog to be a SAFE site for children. Whenever possible, activities are in pdf format or link to safe sites for children. Please feel free to use the information in these posts for homeschool studies! All rights reserved by author and nature photographer, Virginia Parker Staat.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

We Saw the Northern Lights!

Have you ever seen the Northern Lights?  When we were in Canada, we did!  They were so beautiful!

Mom woke up about 2:30 in the morning.  She looked outside and saw dancing green lights.  She woke both Dad and me up to show us.  We got out of our camper and stood in the cold.  It was so exciting! 

The Northern Lights were like crazy rainbows.  They danced and shimmered.  They shot across the sky.      Sometimes there was one beam.  Sometimes there were two.  

The beams changed colors.  Most of the time they were green.  Other times they turned almost pink and blue.  Wow!

Here are some photos that Mom took of the Northern Lights.

We wanted to know more about the Northern Lights.  What are they?  Why can't we see them in Texas?

We found out that Latin name for the Northern Lights is aurora borealis.  The lights come from our sun.  Electron particles escape from the sun.  These electrons are attracted to earth's magnetic field.  When the electrons collide with the gases in our atmosphere, we see Northern Lights. 

Northern Lights occur during times of high solar activity.  The closer you are to the earth's magnetic north, the more often you can see the Northern Lights.  It is easy to see Northern Lights in Alaska and Canada.  You can sometimes see them in the northeast United States several times a year.  Because we are so far south in Texas, we may only see them once every ten or twenty years!  I'm so glad that we got to see them in Canada!

If you would like to learn more about the Northern Lights, just click here:

You can also check out this book about Northern Lights from your library:

Auroras by Donna Walsh Shepherd