The Northern Lights by Emily Martin, aged 10

The northern lights, or the Aurora Borealis is created by the interaction of the solar wind, a stream of charged particles break out of the Sun,  and our planet’s magnetic field and atmosphere. As the solar wind approaches and twists into the Earth’s magnetic field it lets some  charged particles from the Sun to enter the Earth’s atmosphere. As the charged particles come they glow.The solar wind can cause the Earth’s magnetic field lines to detach from the planet. When these field lines pushback  into there position; the charged particles from the solar wind are pushed into the Earth’s atmosphere causing the aurora or northern lights. The more magnetic field lines that detach and push back; the further south the Northern Lights can be seen. 

Yesterday at nightfall the northern lights were actually visible in several parts of the UK, including the north east of England.

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Solar Eclipse 2015 by Emily Martin, aged 10

What is the Solar Eclipse? 

On Friday 20th March 2015, a solar eclipse will occur across the far Northern regions of Europe and the Acrtic. It will last for 2 minutes and 46 seconds. This will be the last total solar eclipse in Europe for over a decade, the next not being until August 12, 2026.

 

How does this happen? 

A solar eclipse is an event that takes place on Earth when the Moon moves in its orbit between Earth and the Sun. It happens at a New Moon. During an eclipse, the Moon’s shadow moves across Earth’s surface. This also happens when the moon completely covers the sun's disc.  Depending on the angles of the Sun, Moon, and Earth, there can be between 2 and 5 solar eclipses each year. A total solar eclipse can happen once every 1-2 years. This makes them very rare events. The longest a total solar eclipse can last is 7.5 minutes. If any planets are in the sky at the time of a total solar eclipse, they can be seen as points of light.

Safety alert!

Whatever you do DO NOT look at the sun because it will quickly damage your eyes.  You should also not take a photograph because the lens on the camera is exactly the same as your eye lens so if you look into the camera you will probably damage your eye sight. Although it is an exceptional sight you still need to protect yourself! 

Photo taken from:  http://www.mhdt.org.uk/solar-eclipse/