The Mystery of the Northern Lights

Next month, in a joint Canadian / American project, five satellites will be launched to help figure out the mystery behind aurora borealis, or the Northern Lights.  This project, called THEMIS, includes recording interaction between charged particles expelled by the sun and the Earth’s magnetic field. 

When these particles interact with the magnetic field, they sometimes release energy near the polar regions, resulting in aurora substorms. The electron release interacts with molecules in the atmosphere and appears as the northern lights.northern_lights.jpg

The scientists involved are from Canada and the United States, including NASA.  In addition to the satellites, twenty observatories will take digital images and monitor magnetic signatures from substorms.  Most of the observatories will be located in northern Canada, including Whitehorse, Inuvik, and Gillam, Man.

About Agasel

Agasel is a writer/media editor/voice-over artist, living in Vancouver, BC, Canada (but seeking a new paradise to transplant to). Check out her blog at

8 thoughts on “The Mystery of the Northern Lights

  1. Hi, I am looking for high quality images of the Northern Lights for a presentation on the Acts of Peace site.

    I found you with a Google image search.

    Can you help me with this?


  2. Wacky,eh?
    What the hell is that graph supposed to represent? It gave me a migraine looking at that! I thought I was looking at the nothern lights! P.S I’ve got to se the Northern Lights before I die.
    From, The Walthamstow Interplanetary Society

  3. the nothern lights are a big mystery…
    very interesting if you’d asked me,
    it disrupts the magnetic feild causing bad
    radio connection and maybe cell phones.

  4. The northern lights are amazing to watch! I feel so privelegded everytime I get to see them 🙂 Canada rocks!

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