Aurora: Lights of Wonder

Authored by Cassia Pang and Reviewed by Danny

The Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, was once thought to be a bad omen by some, since the red lights represented the blood of revenging enemies killed in battle. Others believed that the ribbons of light were the dancing spirits of their ancestors. The brighter the Lights, the more joyously the spirits danced. However, with advancements in science and technology, we now know exactly how this celestial phenomenon really occurs.

Producer and astrophotographer, Kwon O Chul beautifully captures the gasps of both first-timers and seasoned individuals in  Aurora: Lights of Wonder, filmed during the 2015 Aurora Substorm in Yellowknife, Canada. Kwon crystallizes the science behind how Auroras form – with clear scientific explanations coupled with magnificent previews of the Northern Lights.

How an aurora is formed
Myths and legends behind the Aurora Borealis

As I am sitting in the Omni Theatre during the film, the mellow instrumental soundtrack resonates around the theatre, creating a state of bliss. I couldn’t help but feel transported to the scene – mesmerised by what I heard and saw – especially when the Aurora exploded in colour.

Colours of an Aurora

Aurora: Lights of Wonder is a film that should not be missed by any individual. Every aspect of the film is professionally managed, and weaved together to effectively showcase the most sought after experience in a lifetime.

In order to see these beautiful displays, one would typically need to travel to Alaska or Northern Canada, where the best views are. Yet it is not always easy to go to the vast open spaces required for an optimal vantage point. If you can’t travel to the North Pole to watch the Aurora, however, fret not. There’s a way to do so in the comfort of the Omni Theatre!

How to see the Lights .jpg
How to see the Lights

The film left me speechless and deep in thought. Who knew that something so simple as particles in a magnetic field could result in such a marvellous display in the sky? Had I not known it was merely a projection, I think I would have reached out and tried to touch the billowing fabric of light before my eyes.

Scientists claim that climate change and global warming will not affect this stunning natural phenomenon, but what if the greenhouse gas particles we constantly release into the atmosphere impact how it appears to us? There may still be an Aurora; the Earth’s magnetic field will not change; the Sun will continue to release solar winds.

But will the aurora our generation sees today, be the same aurora our grandchildren see? The world is changing at such a blinding pace, we can’t be certain that our actions today will not affect the Lights of Wonder of tomorrow.

A stunning snapshot of the Aurora Substorm featured in the film.

Global warming not only has negative impacts on future generations, our lives now are  also at stake. We take natural beauty like coral reefs, rainforests, and even the air we breathe in for granted.

In the future these things might no longer exist, and our selfish actions now are just accelerating the process.  Surely, we don’t want to live in a world where fresh air must be bought and trees are a thing of the past.

Therefore, the time to make a change is now, with the power of choice in your hands. Everyone can play a part in preventing further damage to the ozone layer, through simple acts in daily life. These include using public transport more often or using a fan instead of the air-conditioner.

To learn more about reducing carbon emissions and pledge to preserve the natural wonders of our world, do visit the Climate Change Climate Challenge exhibition here in the Science Centre.

Click here for show times!


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