Skip to content

One of the most attractive and beautiful atmospheric phenomena to observe is the Northern Lights. It is a natural phenomenon that takes place at the poles of the planet and that, most of the time, is characterized by a light that seems to flow like a river across the night sky. This phenomenon is one of the most striking natural phenomena that can be observed in the atmosphere and, although its nature is fully known, it can sometimes be a bit difficult to explain what steps have to be taken for its formation, especially if the explanation It is aimed at the little ones. If you want to know a little more about how the northern lights are formed and have an explanation for children , keep reading AgroCorrn and we will tell you about it.

You may also be interested: Where to see the Northern Lights

What is the Northern Lights

Actually, it would be more appropriate to speak of polar auroras , since these phenomena occur both at the north and south poles and, when they take place in the north, they are called northern lights , while at the south pole they are called southern auroras , although the phenomenon is exactly the same.

This phenomenon occurs due to the fact that some particles emitted by the sun, and that reach our planet in the form of solar wind, are trapped in the Earth’s magnetosphere and, precisely due to electromagnetic fields , these particles move towards the poles . The consequence is that, when the level of solar particles is concentrated in the atmosphere of the poles, they hit the particles that make up the Earth’s atmosphere in these places and, consequently, a visible light is emitted for the human being, giving rise to the polar auroras.

Basic concepts to understand how the northern and southern auroras form

When explaining how an aurora borealis is formed to children , it is important that they previously know a series of concepts that will be necessary to understand the explanation itself. Thus, before directly explaining how the northern lights are formed, it will be necessary to explain the following basic concepts in a language that they understand:

Planet Earth

Most likely, if we are going to explain what an aurora borealis is, they will already be familiar with the nature of the world in which we live. However, it is important that they understand that we live on a planet with a round shape and that revolves around the sun, which is the star of our solar system, as well as that the Earth is made up of several layers and that each one is very important. to understand what is happening on our planet.


It is the same as with planet Earth. Even if you are familiar with the concept, it is important that you understand that the sun is a star and that it can basically be understood as a ball of fire that emits light and heat (and more that we will see later).


This is one of the concepts that they have to understand and that can cost them the most, since it is intangible and difficult to understand for some. In this way, initially, it will be enough to explain to them that, although we do not see them, there are electromagnetic fields and that each “thing” has its own, including the planet itself. To explain it, we can use magnets as an example.

Solar wind

This concept may also cost them a little more to understand at first, but when it is explained that it is about “the particles that the sun emits and that are very small and that is why we do not see them”, when referring to their small size , it is usually easier for them to understand.

How the Northern Lights are formed: easy explanation for children

At this point, and with these four concepts well understood, we can proceed to explain how the Northern Lights are formed. Broadly speaking and, above all, avoiding unnecessary technicalities so that children can understand the process of formation of the northern lights , it will suffice to say that when the particles carried by the solar wind reach our planet, there are some that are lost in the space, but other solar particles that get trapped in the magnetosphere. These particles trapped in the magnetosphere move towards the poles by the very nature of the magnetosphere and, when many of these particles accumulate in some areas, they collide with particles in the air. Then sparks jump that are very small and we cannot see them, but when there are many they do produce light, and what we see is the light of the northern lights . We can also explain to them that it happens exactly the same in the two poles: the North and the South.

On the other hand, when explaining how the aurora borealis is formed to a child, as it happens when anything is explained to them, it is necessary to know how to adapt to the capacities and characteristics of each child. This means that there will be children who have more facility than others when it comes to understanding an adult explanation. In any case, what must always be borne in mind is that it will be necessary to explain anything to them in a language that they can understand, not avoiding those technicalities that are necessary but avoiding that they are excessive. At the same time, it is important to answer the questions that the children ask as a result of the explanation, since it will be an equally fundamental part when the little ones can understand and also memorize the concepts and explanations that we have given them. .

Now that you know what the aurora borealis is and how it forms, you may be interested in knowing where the northern lights are seen , discover here the best countries and regions and the most suitable months for it.

Maria Anderson

Hello, I am a blogger specialized in environmental, health and scientific dissemination issues in general. The best way to define myself as a blogger is by reading my texts, so I encourage you to do so. Above all, if you are interested in staying up to date and reflecting on these issues, both on a practical and informative level.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *