What causes the occurrence of Aurora Australis?
The famous Northern and Southern Lights — Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis for those Latin lovers among us — are caused by high-energy particles from the Sun cascading down on Earth. As they near our planet, they interact with Earth’s magnetic field, which channels them toward the north and south magnetic poles.
What causes the aurora Boreali?
What causes the Northern Lights? The Northern Lights are actually the result of collisions between gaseous particles in the Earth’s atmosphere with charged particles released from the sun’s atmosphere. Variations in colour are due to the type of gas particles that are colliding.
What does a high Kp index mean?
The Kp-index describes the disturbance of the Earth’s magnetic field caused by the solar wind. The faster the solar wind blows, the greater the turbulence. The index ranges from 0, for low activity, to 9, which means that an intense geomagnetic storm is under way.
What is a good Kp index for aurora?
If the Kp is 5 or greater, the better your chances of seeing an aurora. You can check out the SWPC Estimated Planetary Kp graph to see what has been happening during the past few days. The red bars indicate a Kp higher than 4, which makes your odds of seeing an aurora greater.
Do solar flares cause auroras?
When solar flares send floods of those particles towards the Earth, that causes a geomagnetic storm, which can produce particularly stunning auroras.
What are the southern lights caused by?
Just like the northern lights, the southern lights occur when electrically charged solar particles and atoms in the Earth’s atmosphere collide with gases like oxygen and nitrogen, causing those gases to emit light.
What causes an aurora quizlet?
Auroras are caused by the interactions of the particles ejected from the Sun and the earth’s magnetosphere. These interactions cause the particles to glow in beautiful greens, blues, reds, purples…
What does KP mean in aurora?
However, in Northern Lights hunting circles, the initials have a completely different and yet, vitally important significance. The Kp-Index – derived from the German “Planetarishe Kennziffer meaning “Planetary Index” – is a measure of geomagnetic activity in the Earth’s atmosphere.
Can you see aurora with KP 3?
It is important, however, to remember that the Northern Lights appears most frequently at high latitudes. This is because Kp1, Kp2 and, to a lesser extent, Kp3 are by far the most common levels of geomagnetic activity. This restricts regular Auroral displays to an area around, and just above, the Arctic Circle.
Do solar winds cause auroras?
When such gusts of solar wind reach Earth, they send charged particles racing along our planet’s magnetic field lines toward the poles, where they slam into the atmosphere. The incoming particles energize air molecules, triggering auroras.
What elements give off colors in auroras?
Oxygen gives off the fluorescent green and yellow colour of the aurora (most common) when hit by electrons in the solar system. Nitrogen causes blue or red colours and sometimes pink, while neon turns them orange.
What is the KP number for auroras?
The Kp number is a system of measuring aurora strength. The range goes from 0 to 9 (0 being calm, 1 very weak, all the way up to 9, which would represent a major geomagnetic storm with strong auroras visible). Anything Kp 5 and above is classified as a geomagnetic storm.
How does the Kp-index affect the aurora borealis?
Generally once the Kp-index reaches a certain threshold it will fill the northern half of the sky (in the northern hemisphere) all the way up to the zenith along the corresponding line on the map. If the current Kp-index is greater than the line shown on the map, the aurora will often fill the entire sky.
What does KP 7 mean for aurorae?
Kp 7 – Strong storm – Bright, dynamic and colourful aurorae. Visible in the southern sky. Aurora coronae very likely Kp 8 – Severe storm – Bright, dynamic and colourful aurorae. Aurora seen around 50° latitude Kp 9 – Intense storm – Aurorae seen around 40° latitude.
What is the Kp index of the Northern Lights?
Kp 8 – Severe storm – Bright, dynamic and colourful aurorae. Aurora seen around 50° latitude Kp 9 – Intense storm – Aurorae seen around 40° latitude. Red aurorae and coronae very likely. Most often caused by powerful coronal mass ejections. It’s important to note that the Kp-index does not definitively predict the strength of the Northern Lights.