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Aurora

From fall to spring, people who live in the Arctic get to see the world’s biggest light show. Auroras are beautiful shimmering curtains of light in the night sky. High in Earth’s upper atmosphere, energetic electrons from Earth’s magnetic field collide with gases, making them glow. Auroras are a sign that something electric is happening in the space around Earth.

Usually, you only see auroras if you live in the Arctic – they show up over the poles because of the shape of Earth’s magnetic field. Occasionally people have seen the northern lights (aurora borealis) as far south as Texas and Florida. Few people have ever seen the southern lights (aurora australis) – they usually appear only over Antarctica.