Aurora Borealis: Nature's Holiday Light Display (Slideshow)

swirling aurora photo

Image credit: nick_russill/Flickr

Named after Aurora, the Roman goddess of the dawn, and Boreas, Greek for "northern wind," the aurora borealis is more commonly known as the "northern lights."

"Polar lights," however, is a more accurate name, as they occur in both the northern and southern hemispheres, but intensify with increasing proximity to the magnetic poles.

There is a lot more to this seemingly magical phenomena than pretty lights.

Aurora Borealis: Nature's Holiday Light Display (Slideshow)

Aurora Borealis: Nature's Holiday Light Display (Slideshow)
Named after Aurora, the Roman goddess of the dawn, and Boreas, Greek for "northern wind," the aurora

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