An aurora (plural: aurorae or auroras; from the Latin word aurora, "sunrise") is a natural light display in the sky particularly in the high latitude (Arctic and Antarctic) regions, caused by the collision of energetic charged particles with atoms in the high altitude atmosphere (thermosphere). The charged particles originate in the magnetosphere and solar wind and, on Earth, are directed by the Earth's magnetic field into the atmosphere. Most aurorae occur in a band known as the auroral zone, which is typically 3Â° to 6Â° in latitudinal extent and at all local times or longitudes. The auroral zone is typically 10Â° to 20Â° from the magnetic pole defined by the axis of the Earth's magnetic dipole. During a geomagnetic storm, the auroral zone expands to lower latitudes.
There are few more dazzling sights in the world than that of the great Norther Lights, and in a exercise of brilliant imagination scientists have depicted how an aurorae would look like on huge hot planets. Scientists ran computer models of so-called “hot-Jupiters” placed in close proximity to a sun (a few millions miles away, [...]