Planetarium Northern Lights Evening Show
The so-called solar wind continuously streams off the surface of the sun. It is a stream of charged particles, mostly electrons and protons. The earth's magnetic field repels most of these particles so that they flow around the earth like water past a keel. The exception to this rule is around the magnetic poles, the locations that the compass needle points to, one in the North and the other, diametrically opposite, in the South. A small amount of these particles escapes inside the earth's magnetic field in the vicinity of these poles. The points where the penetration of the particles is most, form a collar around the magnetic poles.
The charged particles that enter the earth's magnetic field move at great velocity along spiral tracks around the magnetic field lines between the magnetic poles. So the Protons and electrons flow towards the magnetic poles and as they approach, the particles collide with the atmosphere, usually at altitudes between 100 and 250 km. Energy in the electrons and protons stimulate molecules and atoms in the atmosphere which emit energy in the form of the visible light we call Northern or Southern Lights depending on the pole they are seen at. The colours we usually see are green and red - purple, caused on the one hand by charged oxygen molecules and on the other by charged nitrogen.
We have developed a method to accurately replicate an ice tunnel which is dug through a glacier. It is the first indoor ice cave in the world, in the middle of Reykjavík. Travelling through the cave.