When solar flares increase solar wind from the corona, what do they cause in Earth's upper atmosphere?

1 Answer
Dec 30, 2017

Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights


The electrically active solar particles of the solar wind impact the Earth magnetic field and are channeled towards the poles.

Over the poles the solar particles interact with the Earth atmosphere colliding with the atoms of oxygen and nitrogen that compose the majority of our atmosphere.

Impacts with oxygen generate yellow and green light, impacts with nitrogen generate red, violet and blue colors.

This phenomenon is more intense when the solar activity is higher.

The lights visible around the North Pole are called Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights, the one visible from Antarctica (South Pole) are called Aurora Australis or Southern Lights.

Very intense solar activity may make the Auroras visible at latitudes lower than usual which means from land far from the poles.

Auroras are quite common to see in Canada, Scotland, Scandinavian countries and Russia.