What does an aurora look like?

Aurorae are either diffuse or discrete.

A diffuse aurora is a glow in the sky that cannot usually be seen by people.

A discrete aurora appears within the area of the diffuse aurora and varies in brightness.

Sometimes the lights of the discrete aurora are so bright that you could read a book by them at night time.

A discrete aurora looks like curtains of light that form in an east-west direction – sometimes they change from second to second, sometimes they stay the same for hours on end. The curtains are formed by parallel rays of light lined up in the direction of the magnetic field.

The lights are mostly bright green or red.