The Aurora Borealis – Oil on canvas

36” x 18”

Officially known as Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights are one of nature’s most spectacular visual phenomena. Italian astronomer and philosopher Galileo Galilei was the first to describe the phenomenon as Aurora Borealis in 1619. The term Aurora Borealis was derived from Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, and the Greek name for the north wind, Boreas

The colors of the Northern Lights depend on what gas is involved and how high in the ionosphere the reaction takes place. Blue and green lights form at lower altitudes while red color comes from the highest altitudes.

Apart from a spectacular visual display, the lights also produce faint sounds such as claps, crackles, and static sounds. However, the aurora noise is so rare that hearing it is probably possible only during times of maximum aurora activity, on windless nights away from other noise sources.

Auroras tend to be more frequent and spectacular during high solar sunspot activity, which cycles over approximately eleven years. The last climax was in 2013.

Although missing a magnetic field, an aurora-like phenomenon has been also observed on Venus. Scientists suggest it can be caused by the reaction between the solar wind and the ions in the Venus´ ionosphere.

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The Aurora Borealis in Oil on Canvas

The bright dancing lights of the aurora are actually collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun that enter the earth’s atmosphere. The lights are seen above the magnetic poles of the northern and southern hemispheres. They are known as ‘Aurora borealis’ in the north and ‘Aurora australis’ in the south..

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. The most common auroral color, a pale yellowish-green, is produced by oxygen molecules located about 60 miles above the earth. Rare, all-red auroras are produced by high-altitude oxygen, at heights of up to 200 miles. Nitrogen produces blue or purplish-red aurora.


The Aurora Borealis – Oil on Canvas

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