Aurora Art

Explore how charged particles create the colors of the aurora. Make your own display of the northern lights.
A colorful aurora reflected into water with trees silhouetted in the foreground.
David Cartier

Diagramming the Northern Lights - PDF Elementary - PDF Middle School
Discover how solar wind, the atmosphere, and Earth's magnetic field are the perfect recipe to create the phenomena of northern lights. Watch a 25-minute video Kiuguyat: The Northern Lights that combines cultural and scientific information about the aurora. Print or view this poster as a visual aid.

Colors of the Aurora - Elementary Reading - Middle School Reading - Middle School activity
Explore videos & activities about aurora ovals and glowing gases to learn why the aurora appears as different colors. This works as a lead-in for the Aurora Bracelet and Illustrating the Northern Lights.

Aurora Bracelet - PDF activity
Pair this craft activity with learning about the colors of the aurora! This handout can help keep the concepts in mind as you do the activity. If you don't have beads, try making paper beads first. 

Illustrating the Northern Lights - PDF Elementary - PDF Middle School
This lesson is designed to be a wrap up of the Cultural Connections kits and is a good way to cap off a unit of learning about the northern lights. Write captions that express what you learned about the aurora to add a Language Arts component.

Several lessons are from the Cultural Connections kits, which can be checked out from the museum here.

Waves upon waves of green aurora reflected on water like glass.Bright pink and green aurora seen from below with treetops poking up.
 Hugo L'Achre & Sebastian Saarloos


This project was funded under NASA cooperative agreement NNX16AL65A. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. All photos from NASA.