25 breathtaking images of the northern lights

When the nights grow longer and the days grow cooler, the skies in the most northern and southern latitudes may light up in green and blue. These auroras, also known as the northern lights, occur when charged particles streaming from the sun slam into our atmosphere and interact with nitrogen and oxygen molecules. Because these particles are charged, they move in spirals along the planet’s magnetic field, migrating toward the poles, where magnetic field lines come together.

The best times to see the northern lights are September through April, while the southern lights, which are most visible in Antarctica but can sometimes be seen as far north as Tasmania, are visible from March to September.

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