What are the aurorae?
The northern lights occur near the north pole of earth. The phenomena is known as the aurora borealis when it occurs in the northern hemisphere and as the aurora australis when it occurs in the southern hemisphere. The name aurora borealis comes from the Latin for northern dawn.
We now know what causes these spectacular displays in the sky. The interaction of the solar wind with the geomagnetic field of the Earth cause energetic particles (primarily electrons and protons) — a million tons of it — to enter into the Earth's upper atmosphere. There they interact with molecules of nitrogen and oxygen to produce the red and green light seen in the auroral phenomena.
Auroral phenomena have been observed on other planets of our solar system, including Jupiter, Saturn, and even Mars.