“But soon as early Dawn appeared, the rosy-fingered, then gathered the folk about the pyre of glorious Hector.”
In Roman mythology, Aurora is the goddess of dawn.1 She renews herself every morning, and announces the arrival of the sun as she flies across the sky. Hence, the Latin word means ‘sunrise’.
However, when the Sun spews a particularly large emission of charged particles, such as electrons and protons, which then hit the Earth’s magnetic field, the resulting display of lights in the sky is also known as an aurora.
You have to be near the planet’s poles to see this phenomenon, so it’s named aurora borealis and aurora australis for the northern and southern hemispheres respectively.
Right now the Sun has gone and emitted a particularly strong surge of particles, resulting in stunning auroras in both hemispheres. Thanks to Twitter, we can browse an incredible array of photos. So, here are your Wednesday picture(s)!
— Greg C (@TasGreg) March 18, 2015
— Ian Griffin (@iangriffin) March 17, 2015
— ♚ Ritvars Štarks ♚ (@R_Schtarks) March 18, 2015
— CallanishDD (@CallanishDD) March 18, 2015
— Jukka Remahl (@JRemahl) March 17, 2015
The Northern Hemisphere ones are from three places where I’ve lived – Finland, Scotland, and, of course, Latvia. Although I lived in Edinburgh, which, alas, did not get the show.
There are lots more photos on Flickr and basically everywhere you look. One day I hope to see an aurora in real life. Have you?