Temperature affect on the Aurora Borealis

  1. So, I'm from Northern B.C., Canada, and we would get the northern lights most nights. I know how solar winds reach Earth, and get caught up in the magnetic field, blah, blah blah. BUT, for some reason, in the wintertime on the nights when the temperature drops very low, (about -20 degrees Celsius in about an hour), the lights are considerably more apparent. Considerably meaning the whole sky will light up instead of just the horizons or a single curtain.

    My question is, how could surface temperature affect the northern lights? Ionization occurs 80 km above Earth, how could temperature affect this?

    I find it hard to believe it is just a coincidence, but can't seem to think of a reason why it couldn't be. It is almost predictable.

  2. jcsd
  3. sylas

    sylas 1,734
    Science Advisor

    I do not think surface temperatures affect the Aurora Borealis, but there may be other reasons for a correlation. For example; you will see them more clearly on a clear night, and a clear night is likely to be colder.

    Cheers -- sylas
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