Mystery of Auroras Solved?

Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights, are a beautiful and stunning sight to behold, but they are potentially dangerous to communication systems, space flights, electric equipment and compasses. Essentially, these lights are the result of the interaction of solar wind particles with the Earth's magnetic field, and scientists seem to have finally figured out the 30 year-old mystery of what triggers the space explosions that result in these beautiful lights, as demonstrated in this nice animation from National Geographic.

And if you want to learn more about the sun, including the most powerful sun storm ever recorded and the amazing insights to which it led, check out this episode of the wonderful Naked Scientists (fast forward to 26:31 for the fascinating and terrifying story on that storm), or go directly to that interview.

I just love how scientists figure things out!
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