Aurora borealis, or northern lights, are created when electrically charged particles from the sun travel through the Earth’s atmosphere. As the particles hit the atmosphere, they light up the ionosphere with color. The lights in the sky are most commonly seen as white and green ribbons with pink edges rippling across dark nights, but sometimes they shine purple, red, or blue. A great deal of research has been done on the aurora, however, there is still more to learn about this fascinating phenomenon.

A group of researchers decided the best way to discover the secrets of the aurora was to get right inside an aurora event. They attached a camera to a balloon and sent it up 78,000 feet to view the aurora up close. Watch their video for a fascinating look at the northern lights in Alaska. They had quite an adventure planning the event, performing the flight, and then finding the balloon!

This is the video of the balloon’s flight with footage of the aurora up close:


Here is the “Making Of” documentary about the process:

And finally, here is a video about finding the balloon after it crash-landed in the arctic!

For more information, check out the report on their project here.

If you want to get up close to the aurora, take a vacation to these incredible igloos! Also, check out these great places to view the northern lights.

Any excellent stories about the Northern Lights? Tell us about it in the comments below.

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