The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Why are the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) usually green?  (Read 10119 times)

Offline chris

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 5335
  • Thanked: 65 times
  • The Naked Scientist
    • View Profile
    • The Naked Scientists
The Northern Lights are usually green in photographs. Why is that? Why are they not other colours too?

Chris


 

paul.fr

  • Guest
Why are the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) usually green?
« Reply #1 on: 23/07/2007 21:08:44 »
I suspect that there are a multitude or answers, film type, exposure, shutter speed, and the list probibly goes on.

If i may be the first to have his idea shot to pieces. How about that the usual green as you mention, and often red colours are to do with the amount of Oxygen and Nitrogen in the atmosphere. Now i have gone and stumped myself as to why ....oh, forget i said anything.
 

Offline eric l

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 514
    • View Profile
Why are the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) usually green?
« Reply #2 on: 24/07/2007 17:47:38 »
Apparently, the green flares are emissions at 557.7 nm by atomic oxygen.
see :  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aurora_borealis - sub :  Auroral mechanism
and



(from http://www.natuurwetenschappen.nl/modules.php?file=article&name=News&sid=1049)
« Last Edit: 24/07/2007 19:51:51 by eric l »
 

Offline G-1 Theory

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 231
    • View Profile
    • http://edward-e-kerls.com
Why are the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) usually green?
« Reply #3 on: 25/07/2007 15:00:15 »
The Northern Lights are usually green in photographs. Why is that? Why are they not other colours too?

Chris

Dear Chris

The mostly green color is from the amount of Oxygen in the atmosphere.

Other elements would have different color emissions. And at times there are many colors up there.

Ed 
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Why are the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) usually green?
« Reply #3 on: 25/07/2007 15:00:15 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums
 
Login
Login with username, password and session length