The Earth has a magnetic field with north and south poles. The magnetic field of the Earth is surrounded by the magnetosphere that keeps most of the particles from the Sun from hitting the Earth.

Some of these particles from the solar wind enter the atmosphere at one million miles per hour. We see them as one of the most beautiful of all natural phenomena -- Earth's polar lights, the Aurora Borealis in the north and the Aurora Australis, near the south pole.

The auroras occur when highly charged electrons from the solar wind interact with elements in the Earth's atmosphere and become trapped in the Earth's magnetic field. We see them as an undulating visual field of red, yellow, green, blue and purple dancing high in the Earth's atmosphere -- about 100 to 400 kilometers above us.

This image shows the parts of the magnetosphere. 1. Bow shock. 2. Magnetosheath. 3. Magnetopause. 4. Magnetosphere. 5. Northern tail lobe. 6. Southern tail lobe. 7. Plasmasphere.

Photo credit: Magnetosphere_Levels.jpg: Dennis Gallagher derivative work: Frédéric MICHEL - Magnetosphere_Levels.jpg, Public Domain,