Questions and Answers about Aurora

Aurora are some of the most beautiful consequences of space weather. Space weather is caused by storms of matter and energy from the sun that interact with Earth's space environment. These interactions can cause satellite malfunctions, and even electrical power blackouts here on Earth. For more information, visit the Human Impacts of Space Weather website at to learn more about the economic consequences.

    1. Can aurora or the Earth's magnetic field be harnessed to make energy?
    2. Is there a monument to the Northern Lights somewhere?
    3. Do sunspots affect the brightness and color of aurora?
    4. How much power do aurora produce?
    5. When can I see the Northern Lights from North America?
    6. Why do we use X-rays to study aurora?
    7. How can you artificially create aurora?
    8. Where can I get information about the Aurora?
    9. Can you make artificial northern lights?
    10. I recently heard a high-pitched hum while watching an aurora from British Columbia, was I imagining it?
    11. Who discovered the first aurora?
    12. How do solar flares affect auroras?
    13. When do auroras occur?
    14. What effects do auroras have on the Earth?
    15. What is an aurora?
    16. During which months can auroras be most easily seen?
    17. What does the solar activity cycle have to do with auroral activity?
    18. How low to the ground do auroras get?
    19. How long have auroras been observed on the Earth?
    20. Are the northern lights seen in the southern hemisphere simultaneously?
    21. How often are aurorae seen in the continental United States?
    22. What is the South Atlantic Anomaly?
    23. What causes auroras to have different colors?
    24. Do aurora produce radio waves?
    25. What are some of the early theories about auroras?
    26. Are auroras seen on other planets?
    27. How long have auroras been observed?
    28. What would happen if you traveled through an aurora?
    29. Can you hear an aurora?

All answers are provided by Dr. Sten Odenwald (NASA/Raytheon)