Polar Light Landscape
Reference work entry
Auroras are caused by charged particles of the sun that are emitted into the magnetic field of the Earth. The particles enter the Earth’s atmosphere at high latitudes, producing high levels of airborne plasma. Auroras have dazzling colours with beautiful patterns that are either moving or stationary. They are brightest at heights of 5–10 km above the ground. The ‘aurora zone’ lies within 22–27° from the poles, including northern Alaska, northern Canada, southern Iceland, northern Norway, southern Novaya Zemlya and southern Novosibirsk. Auroras can be seen approximately 2/3 of the year (245 days) and are the favourite tourist attraction in this region. In China, aurora can be seen once every year in Mohe in Heilongjiang Province and Altai in Xinjiang Province (Fig. 25).
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