This phenomenon is on my want to see "Once in My Lifetime" list.
Yep, I want to see the aurora borealis, but since it is only visible the closer in the Northern Hemisphere you get to the poles, I'm afraid the chances of this Southern Belle aren't very good. But why put things on your must see list that you can walk out the front door and see any time.
This amazing phenomenon was named in 1621 after the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, and combined with the Greek name for the north wind, Boreas.
The Northern Lights have been described as bands, curtain or streamers of colored light. In the Southern Hemisphere the lights are called the Aurora Australis. Here is a short explanation of the science behind this natural wonder:
The sun gives off high-energy charged particles (also called ions) that travel out into space at speeds of 300 to 1200 kilometres per second. A cloud of such particles is called a plasma. The stream of plasma coming from the sun is known as the solar wind. As the solar wind interacts with the edge of the earth's magnetic field, some of the particles are trapped by it and they follow the lines of magnetic force down into the ionosphere, the section of the earth's atmosphere that extends from about 60 to 600 kilometres above the earth's surface. When the particles collide with the gases in the ionosphere they start to glow, producing the spectacle that we know as the auroras, northern and southern. The array of colours consists of red, green, blue and violet.
I'm sure you'll agree that seeing the Aurora Borealis would be out of this world.