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My first aurora

Topics: 
Astronomy

Tonight, I have seen the first aurora in my life : at 22h20 local time, a faint green light in the north-east suddenly turned into a bright red curtain with orange borders, stretching out into the zenith. Immensly beautifull and very rare here in Belgium; I tried to capture it on my digicam, but the cam isn't sensitive enough. What a great way to end my birthday :)

Update : an hour later, at 23h10, again a green-white glow in the north, not as spectacular as the previous one, but still impressive.

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If you want to see the auroral activity on Earth (to know if there's any chance on northern light in your region), then visit the NOAA Space Environment Center .

BBC has some more coverage about the scientific facts behind auroras :
Why are they different colours?

The colour of the aurora depends on which atom is struck and the altitude:
Green - oxygen, up to 150 miles
Red - oxygen, above 150 miles
Blue - nitrogen, up to 60 miles
Purple/violet - nitrogen, above 60 miles