LA CROSSE, WIS — For a short period of time, the phenomenal display of aurora borealis – known better as the Northern Lights – will be visible across a large swath of the upper Midwest, including Wisconsin. However, just because the lights are visible, it does not necessarily mean they feel seen, scientists say.
“A large number of us will be able to see the Northern Lights, that’s true,” Dr Lumen Frostbite said, “But how many of us are taking the time to truly understand them?”
Reportedly, aurora borealis suffers depressive episodes intermittently because they feel they are only seen as a pretty display of collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun that enter the earth’s atmosphere, and nothing more.
“You may think ‘Wow, what beautiful colors and shapes!’ but have you wondered what colors and shapes the lights enjoy themselves?” Dr Frostbite added. “Do you wonder at all what the journey was like for them all the way from the sun to the top of the planet? Sometimes the reaction that causes those lights can be very painful. Maybe, just maybe, saying ‘Hey, this is a big deal that you’re here, and we appreciate the sacrifices you made to visit us. Sometimes the pain one goes through to look incredible goes overlooked and we just want you to know: We see that. Thank you for going through all of that, it’s inspiring,’ would go a long way to making the Northern Lights feel truly seen, even when they’re not visible.”
Dr Frostbite’s words have sparked a movement on social media in support of the Northern Lights, with the hashtag #NotVisibleButStillSeen trending Friday morning.
Reporter Sam Shilts contributed to this article.