The Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis, were clearly visible in many parts of Türkiye on Monday night as the sky was colored red in cities such as Van, Ordu, and Balikesir.
Van Yuzuncu Yil University Faculty of Letters, Department of Geography Professor Faruk Alaeddinoglu explained how the phenomenon known as the northern lights was witnessed in Türkiye after dozens of photos were shared on social media.
"The northern lights are green near the poles and red near the equator. Such natural phenomena happen all the time on Earth. In fact, there are many more lights that we cannot see. The northern lights, which should not be attributed to anything, should be seen as a visual feast offered to us by nature," Alaeddinoglu emphasized.
"Many people who want to see and photograph the northern lights visit countries near the poles. It was seen in a few provinces in our country. Our citizens also had the opportunity to see and photograph the lights. The lights seen in red tones in Türkiye will be seen in green tones in the northern countries," Alaeddinoglu noted.
The aurora can be seen near the poles of both the northern and southern hemisphere. In the north the visuals are known as the aurora borealis; in the south it is called the aurora australis.
These "northern" and "southern" lights have fascinated, frightened and inspired humans for centuries. More recently, photographers have gone to remarkable lengths to try and capture the beauty of these atmospheric events.
Different gases give off different colors when they are heated. The same process is what happens in the aurora as well. The two primary gases in the Earth’s atmosphere are nitrogen and oxygen, and these elements give off different colors during an aurora display.
The green we see in the aurora is characteristic of oxygen, while hints of purple, blue or pink are caused by nitrogen. While the scarlet red color is usually caused by very high altitude oxygen interacting with solar particles which only occurs when the aurora is particularly energetic.
Source: Anadolu Agency & Newsroom