You have found the "BEST" Term Paper site on the Planet!

We GUARANTEE that you’ll find an EXEMPLARY College Level Term Paper, Essay, Book Report or Research Paper in seconds or we will write a BRAND NEW paper for you in just a FEW HOURS!!!

150,000+ Papers

Find more results for this search now!

Please enter a keyword or topic phrase to perform a search.
Need a Brand New Custom Essay Now?  click here

The northern lights: aurora borealis

Uploaded by btown on May 07, 2002

You are outside on a clear summer’s night, when all of a sudden a flash catches your eye. You whirl around in bewilderment as the black night sky flashes and dances with a whirling array of colors. The northern horizon is draped with an iridescent green, deep blues, sharp violets, scarlet reds, and bright oranges and yellows. You stand awestruck as the colors descend, like a melting rainbow, across the sky. Then, as quickly as they appeared, they vanish without a trace. On clear nights, when the atmosphere is right, an amazing light show dances across the night sky. This natural phenomenon is known as aurora borealis, or the northern lights. This incredible spectacle has been a source of myth and fable for thousands of years, and the explanation behind these beautiful illuminations is as amazing as the lights themselves. Some areas of the earth can view the aurora more often and more brilliantly than others and the spellbinding celestial lights are unlike anything else in this world.

Since the beginning of time, ancient civilizations have taken notice of the northern lights, and each had a unique explanation of them. Some believed they were caused as a result of fungi on rotting wood, others believed they were magic, while many believed they were in the presence of temperamental gods and summoning spirits. In China, ancient people believed they were seeing dragons, with brightly colored scales moving silently in the night. Others in the Mediterranean region believed that the red light in the night was blood flung onto the sky. The Vikings believed the aurora was the beautiful maidens called Valkyries, which escorted those killed in battle to the gods. The Sami people of Lapland believed they had power over the lights, and whistling under them would cause them to come closer. Many ancient peoples would not stare at or speak of the aurora, due to a fear of insulting their divine nature. The Finnish called them revontulet, which means fox fires, for the reason that an arctic fox whipping its tail was responsible for throwing snow high into the air, lighting up the sky. Others believed they were torches held by spirits to lead the way to the after life. However enchanting and intriguing these explanations were, we didn’t actually begin to find the real rationalization for the northern lights until 1774, when Jean Jacque Dortous de Mairan of France linked...

Sign In Now to Read Entire Essay

Not a Member?   Create Your FREE Account »

Comments / Reviews

read full paper >>

Already a Member?   Login Now >

This paper and THOUSANDS of
other papers are FREE at PlanetPapers.

Uploaded by:   btown

Date:   05/07/2002

Category:   Science And Technology

Length:   4 pages (1,009 words)

Views:   4771

Report this Paper Save Paper
Professionally written papers on this topic:

The northern lights: aurora borealis

View more professionally written papers on this topic »