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Polar Auroras

The Polar Auroras (known as Northern Lights in the northern hemisphere) are a natural light show in the sky of the southern and northern polar areas of the Earth. The Northern Lights and the Southern Aurora were observed in the West and in China hundreds of years ago. At the time, they were considered snakes or dragons in the sky. Scientists began to study them from the 17th century and in the year 1768, the scientist Henry Cavendish managed to understand and explain the phenomenon behind the formation of the Polar Auroras.

The Auroras can appear in the form of luminous points or very long arcs that extend to the horizon aligned to the Earth's magnetic field. They emit intense coloured lights without raising the temperature of the environment. Like the shapes, the colours can also vary from red, to orange, green or yellow; often appear with multiple colours at the same time.

This natural phenomenon occurs also on the other planets of the solar system that have a magnetic field as Earth; they have been observed in Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. The Auroras form in a ring around Earth's poles. As solar activity releases huge amounts of charged particles into space, many of them are funnelled by Earth's magnetic into these ring, where they collide with the atmosphere. In tis collision against the molecules that make up the air;the energy released turns in part into visible lights that spread throughout the sky; that's an Aurora.

The Polar Aurora is one of the most beautiful natural spectacles in the world; the coloured lights that invade the sky moving swiftly as agile dancers are one of the most incredible views we have experienced.

While we were attempting the first ascent of Mount Malaspina, in the Yukon territory, Canada. We were fascinated by the beautiful dancing lights that played over our heads while we made an igloo to spend the night or at least rest for a few hours. That, was truly a magical experience.



This picture shows our igloo and the route towards the virgin summit of Mount Malaspina the morning after that magical encounter with the Aurora.

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