This question already has an answer here:

I heard of the aurora borealis in North America and I've also seen the picture which made me to wonder that what causes the aurora borealis and does it have any advantages or disadvantages?


marked as duplicate by arkaia, Jan Doggen, farrenthorpe, Daniel Griscom, Fred Feb 12 '16 at 4:07

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You should also do some homework before asking. Googling your question title gives you results much faster than waiting for an answer here. $\endgroup$ – Jan Doggen Feb 11 '16 at 19:56

When charged particles from the sun strike air molecules in Earth's magnetic field, they cause those molecules' atoms to become excited. The molecules give off light as they calm down. At the center of our solar system lies the sun, the yellow star that sustains life on our planet. The sun's many magnetic fields distort and twist as our parent star rotates on its axis. When these fields become knotted together, they burst and create so-called sunspots. Usually, these sunspots occur in pairs; the largest can be several times the size of Earth's diameter. At the center of the sun, the temperature is 27 million degrees Fahrenheit (15 million degrees Celsius). As the temperature on its surface rises and falls, the sun boils and bubbles. Particles escape from the star from the sunspot regionson the surface, hurtling particles of plasma, known as solar wind, into space. It takes these winds around 40 hours to reach Earth. When they do, they can cause the dramatic displays known as the aurora borealis.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.