What causes the sky near Earth's poles to light up with swirling, colorful light? In this episode of the Countdown, we explore the physics behind auroras and more.

More to Explore:

Visit LightsOverLapland.com for more images of the Northern Lights from Abisko National Park in Sweden.

Aurora Forecast (NOAA)

Written in the Sky: Aurora Borealis Explained (Institute of Physics)

Science Casts: Auroras Underfoot (NASA)

Northern Lights, Earth's Auroras, Causes and Facts (Space.com)

The History of Auroras (NASA)

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Featured image courtesy of Rafal Konieczny via Wikimedia Commons

Credits:

Host/writer: Sophie Bushwick

Story Advisors: Clara Moskowitz & Michael Moyer

Editor: Joss Fong

Producer: Eric R. Olson