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Northern Lights Spotted in Van! So, what are the Northern Lights and how do they occur?

The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, colored the skies in many countries in the Earth's northern hemisphere over the weekend. While photos of the Northern Lights from countries such as the USA, Canada, England, Hungary and Ukraine were shared on social media, Northern Lights in pink, red and green colors were seen in Van, Turkey. So what are the Northern Lights and how do they occur? Here are the curious things about the Northern Lights:

Formation of the Northern Lights

The Northern Lights are a natural light phenomenon caused by particles from the Sun interacting with the Earth's magnetic field. These particles, called the solar wind, reach the Earth from millions of kilometers away and are directed towards the poles. These particles colliding with gas molecules in the atmosphere color the sky by emitting light of different wavelengths. Oxygen molecules create green light and nitrogen molecules create red light.

Seeing the Northern Lights

The Northern Lights are more common at the north and south poles, which are Earth's magnetic poles. Therefore, it is easier to watch the Northern Lights in countries close to the poles. However, sometimes, due to events such as geomagnetic storms, it is possible to see the Northern Lights at lower latitudes. In this case, the chance of observing the Northern Lights increases in a clear, dark place with little light pollution. What are the Northern Lights? zamThere are also some phone apps available to keep track of where to see the moment.

Historical and Cultural Meaning of the Northern Lights

The Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon that has been given different meanings in many cultures throughout human history. The first record of the Northern Lights is thought to have been painted on the wall of a cave in France 30 thousand years ago. The scientific name of the Northern Lights, Aurora Borealis, was given by the famous Italian physicist and astronomer Galileo Galilei in 1619, inspired by Aurora, the goddess of dawn and Boreas, the god of wind in Roman mythology. The Northern Lights have been interpreted in some cultures as a sign of gods, ancestors or spirits.