Amazing Alaska: What causes the Northern Lights?

At the end of November, our Military team headed to Alaska to spread the word about Tutor.com for Military Families. While we were there we found a lot of things that were unusual to us cheechakos (an Alaskan word for newcomers). Like why does the sun set at 3:47? Why do we need to carry static clings in our clothes? The list goes on and on! So, when we got back we asked a few of our tutors to help explain the science of it all. Here’s what we found out!

Question #4: What causes the Northern Lights?  [7th-8th Grade Science]

Answer:  The Northern Lights occur when the sun sends out solar flares which have electrically charged particles. When those particles reach the earth, they are drawn towards the poles where they mix with gases in the earth’s atmosphere, causing them to glow.

Image Credit: NASA

Image Credit: NASA

KLH TutorView the full session transcript here.

Session Note:  Session is between a Tutor.com employee and a Tutor.com science tutor and was used with permission.  Student sessions are kept private and will not be made public.

 

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