The Northern Lights are the most impressive natural spectacle of winter. A spectacle that Canadians could enjoy a few hours after the winter solstice and that NASA captured the image with the »day-night band» (DNB) of your VIIRS instrument (Visible Infrared Imagin Radiometer Suite, or Visible Infrared Radiometer in Spanish) of the Suomi NPP satellite.
DNB detects dim light signals such as auroras, air glow, gas flares, and reflected moonlight. On that occasion, it detected a "storm" of the Northern Lights in northern Canada.
How auroras occur?
Auroras are phenomena typical of the poles, both north and south. When they occur at the south pole, they are known as the southern auroras, and when they occur at the north pole, as the northern lights. Both occur when the solar wind collides with the Earth's magnetic field. In doing so, the energy is stretched and accumulated within, until the magnetic field lines reconnect and suddenly release it, propelling the electrons back to the planet.
Once these particles collide with the upper part of the atmosphere, what we call aurora is generated, which is what causes the sky in the polar regions to be colored.
Video of the Northern Lights in Canada
Now that we know how they are produced, let's enjoy them. We may be far from the poles, but at least we will always have the videos. And of course this one is really impressive:
Canadians had, without a doubt, a start to the coldest season of the year of the most colorful and striking, don't you think? The Northern Lights attract a lot of attention, because you know that, if you are lucky to see them, the most likely thing is that they will surprise you. Its movement and its colors seem taken from a dream, which, fortunately, is real.