Can you make artificial northern lights?

It requires a source of electrons and a gas to fluoresce. The inside of a TV picture tube has many of these ingredients with an electron beam striking the photo-cathode causing the material there to fluoresce. Ordinary fluorescent bulbs are also another similar analog with a gas excited to fluoresce by being stimilated by electrons.

Return to the Ask the Space Scientist main page.

All answers are provided by Dr. Sten Odenwald (Raytheon STX) for the
NASA IMAGE/POETRY Education and Public Outreach program.