Alaska is known for its dark cold winters and long daylight summers. People venture there for its beautiful scenery, majestic vistas and to witness its spectacular light show virtually every night of the year. " Witnessing the northern lights is spectacular. It's awe inspiring because you can't really explain what they are and why they are there," a visitor said.
In ancient times, mythological gods were credited with this creation. But these mysterious lights get their powerful glow from the same awesome force that gives our planet life.
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The sun is the source of energy for everything on planet earth, all life, all weather, and all activity that we know. Explosions and solar storms on the surface of the sun send charged particles known as solar winds hurtling towards earth. When they reach the earth's magnetic field the energy is transferred into visual light around the earth's Polar Regions. Realize the earth has magnetic field lines that loop out into space from the northern hemisphere to the southern hemisphere, arching away from the earth and it is those magnetic field lines that organize the solar storms that cause it to create auroras.
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While scientists know the cause of the aurora, exactly how it affects earth is still in question. Though infrared cameras have captured solar storms, the aurora remains a mystery.Chicago Botanic Garden
For creating the planet's greatest nighttime light show, the aurora makes our list at number one.
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From the spitting lava of Kilauea, to the raging rapids3 of the Colorado, the natural wonders of the world are dynamic4 proof of this spectacular planet we call Earth. But ultimately it's our curiosity of their existence that's the most wondrous thing of all. And that is our honor to bear witness to the planet's finest legacy™≤the Ultimate5 Ten Natural Wonders.