Before people could explain the mysterious Northern Lights scientifically, we came up with our own explanations. The ancient Finns believed that the Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, were created by running foxes throwing mystical sparks into the sky with their tails. Others saw mighty dragons breathing fire across the firmament or gods granting boons to the people below. Every culture came up with their own myths and legends.
… and the facts behind it
These days the science behind this incredible natural display is less of a mystery. The Northern Lights happens when electrons from the Sun enter Earth’s atmosphere and interact with the gas particles producing light. The gas involved determines the color of the light: the common yellow-to-green is created by oxygen, while nitrogen produces a red glow. High in the atmosphere, lighter gases make blue and purple colors.