Eastern Iowa Was Treated To A Phenomenal Northern Lights Display
Yesterday, (April-23) anyone who lived in eastern Iowa had the opportunity to see an incredible show taking place in the night sky. If you didn't happen to look outside last night, you missed one heck of a light show.
Check out some of these incredible photos some Iowans shared with KCRG and CBS2 Iowa!
What Are The Northern Lights?
Do you know why the northern lights happen or what they really are?
These incredible light displays, also known as aurora borealis, occur when charged particles collide with gasses in the earth's upper atmosphere. According to ASC-CSA, these collisions produce tiny flashes that fill the sky with this beautiful colorful light. When the northern lights appear to "dance" it's due to billions of these flashes and collisions occurring in sequence. This causes the sky to appear like it's moving.
The earth's magnetic field help steer the particles toward the north and south poles. The shape of the earth's magnetic field can create two "auroral ovals" above the north and south magnetic poles. This is why most northern lights happen in the months of August and May.
It's not only the northern hemisphere that gets to see these spectacular auroras either. In the southern hemisphere, these are commonly referred to as "southern lights" or "aurora australis."
According to ASC-CSA, the sun also plays a major factor in how intense these auroras appear. When the sun is more active, "the further south that the oval positioned above Canada stretches." When the solar activity decreases, this oval is returned to a more normal position, which creates auroras to be less intense.
During the Aurora Borealis, you can witness many different colors. Shades of red, green, blue, and purple can all be spotted during this incredible phenomenon. The northern lights display did not disappoint eastern Iowans last night!