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Posted by Bowser on November 11, 2003 at 19:15:13:
In Reply to: Q2 - Why is the Northen Lights composed of different colours ? posted by Aurora Borealis on November 11, 2003 at 11:14:18:
Here's a snippet from my Nitrogen piece a while back the might answer this one:
Apparently the blues and violets in the northern lights are due to extremely high velocity particles from the sun zapping the nitrogen molecules in the upper atmosphere as they travel along the lines of the Earth's magnetic field. Unfortunately, the only time I was lucky enough to see the Aurora Borealis in Castlebar, I didn't see any blues at all - the sky over Castlebar turned quite red - not blue or violet. Red is oxygen's colour so it was an oxygen display rather than a nitrogen display - maybe you have to go further north to see blue lights.