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Planet Earth

The Aurora (or Northern & Southern Light) as observed from the sky. In the picture on the right the two lights occurred at the same time.

Birkeland, in the beginning of the last century, has already given an explanation of the Aurora in terms of electromagnetic interactions with the Sun. His explanation has long been ignored until recently it has been confirmed by direct observation with modern sophisticated satellites: The Aurora is caused by an electromagnetic interaction with the Sun.


Northern light Cat's Eye Nebulae
Northen Light- Picture: Roman Krochuk
Aurora: North & South - Courtesy: ESA/NASA/SOHO

These images are a composite of two pictures: one of the ejections of electric matter from the Sun where the Sun itself is blocked out, and another of the Sun itself. The Sun itself is too bright of course to make the ejections visible in the same picture.

Fields between Sun and Earth
Artistic impression of Earth and Sun magnetic interaction - Courtesy: W. Thornhill

Here we see an artistic interpretation of the electric double layer shielding our Earth. The layer around our planet Earth is deformed by the emission of particles and energy of the Sun (solar wind). Of course this picture is not to scale. Please note that the Moon, which is circling around the Earth, will also penetrate the double layer of the Earth! Which indicates a direct electrical interaction between the Earth and the Moon, as well as with the Sun.