Is The Sun Throwing A Party In Our Sky Ep 725

People gathered to look upon the spectacle of the aurora lights. Boost your English vocabulary with fascinating science words.

📝 Author: Hilary

📅 Published:

💬 3505 words ▪️ ⏳ Reading Time 18 min

📥 Download MP3 & PDF 10.8 Mb ▪️ 👓 Read Transcript ▪️ 🎧 Listen to Lesson

English Listening: Learn About The Northern Lights & Improve Your English

Illuminate your English with the magic of the Northern Lights. 📚 Join our captivating English lesson that blends the enchanting Northern Lights with English fluency. No need for boring lessons! Make English listening fun with engaging stories.

  • 🚀 Tutorial: Learn scientific and folklore vocabulary!
  • 🌍 Lifestyle & Culture: Journey through Greek to Inuit myths.
  • 📖 Vocabulary & Grammar: Elevate your language skills.
  • 💬 Conversation & Listening: Engage in real English dialogue.
  • 📈 Levels: From Beginner to Advanced, there's something for everyone.
  • 🎓 Study Tips: Learn English the fun way, with tales of solar flares and magnetic fields.
  • 🌟 Bonus: Discover the best spots for Northern Lights, from Cornwall to Canada.

✔Lesson transcript:

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.
⭐ Helen Keller

Ever dreamed of witnessing the breathtaking Northern Lights? This unique English lesson dives into the enchanting world of the Aurora Borealis, offering you more than just language skills.

In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.
⭐ John Muir

Uncover the secrets behind this natural wonder and enhance your English, all while embarking on a virtual journey to the far north. Elevate your English to stellar heights with our #EnglishLessons learn the language of the cosmos as you journey through the science behind the auroras. 🌠📘

Join Adept English for more engaging English lessons. Follow us and subscribe to our podcast today and step up your English learning journey!

More About This Lesson

Explore the magical world of the Northern Lights and give your English skills a big boost. Learn cool science facts and enchanting folklore stories to make your learning journey memorable.

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.
⭐ Albert Einstein
  1. Increases vocabulary: Learn scientific, folklore, and daily words.
  2. Enhances listening skills: Practice understanding varied English accents.
  3. Improves pronunciation: Hear correct pronunciation of complex words.
  4. Expands knowledge: Learn about the Northern Lights and related myths.
  5. Boosts comprehension: Understand context through repeated listening.
  6. Encourages curiosity: Explore etymology and cultural stories.
  7. Promotes practice: Opportunity to listen multiple times for mastery.
  8. Supports learning strategy: Tips on effective English learning methods.
To be a star, you must shine your own light, follow your own path, and don't worry about the darkness, for that is when the stars shine brightest.
⭐ Napoleon Hill

This lesson packs a punch! You'll not only expand your vocabulary with interesting scientific and folklore terms but also enjoy captivating stories that enhance your English listening skills:

  • Embrace Complex Vocabulary: Tackle tough scientific and mythological words one at a time. Like a muscle, your vocabulary will grow stronger each day.
  • Turn Learning into Adventure: Forget boring lessons! The beauty of the Northern Lights turns studying English into an exhilarating experience.
  • Remember What You Learn: Listen over and over. Each time is like visiting a favourite place, helping you remember more.
  • Useful Vocabulary: Every new word, including ‘Aurora Borealis’, paints your English in brighter colors, making it more vivid and expressive.
  • Cultural Connections: Stories and folklore help you understand different cultures, welcoming you to a world of diverse perspectives.
  • Join a Learning Community: Share your journey with learners worldwide. You're not alone in facing challenges and celebrating wins.
  • See Your Progress: Every lesson is a step forward. Celebrate understanding new phrases and sentences as these small victories lead to fluency.
  • Discover Excellent Resources: Our ‘most common 500 words course’ is a goldmine for boosting your understanding and speaking abilities.

By exploring the Northern Lights through British English, you’ll not only learn about this natural wonder but also bridge cultural gaps and debunk myths with actual scientific facts. This enriches your language learning with cultural, scientific, and historical insights, making your journey both educational and fascinating.

Join us on Adept English for more engaging lessons. Follow and subscribe to our podcast today and take your English learning to new heights!

Frequently Asked Questions about the Aurora Borealis-Northern Lights

Discovering the Aurora Borealis through this lesson is like unlocking a celestial treasure chest, bursting with scientific jewels and folklore gems to enrich your English voyage.

  1. What are the Northern Lights, and why are they also known as the Aurora Borealis? The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, are a spectacular light show visible in the night sky at northern latitudes. The name "Aurora Borealis" comes from Greek and Roman mythology, where "Aurora" is the Goddess of Dawn, and "Borealis" refers to the North Wind. This phenomenon occurs when solar particles enter the Earth's atmosphere and collide with gases, creating glowing patterns.
  2. How can learning about the Aurora Borealis improve my English? Listening to discussions about the Northern Lights introduces you to scientific vocabulary related to astronomy, geography, and mythology. Engaging with such topics broadens your vocabulary and understanding of complex English phrases, contributing to fluency in British English.
  3. What is the best way to see the Northern Lights? To witness the Northern Lights, find a location with no cloud cover, minimal light pollution, and little to no moonlight. Ideally, you should also be facing north. Locations like Iceland, Norway, Finnish Lapland, and Canada are popular for their frequent sightings, especially during periods of high solar activity.
  4. Why are the Northern Lights more visible at certain times? The visibility of the Northern Lights correlates with the sun's 11-year solar cycle. During periods of high solar activity, more solar particles are ejected towards Earth, increasing the chances of seeing the Aurora Borealis. Recent sightings in unusual locations, like Cornwall, have been attributed to significant solar flares.
  5. How can I learn more about the folklore surrounding the Northern Lights? The Northern Lights have inspired numerous myths and folklore around the world. Learning about these stories, such as the Inuit belief that the lights are the spirits of the dead playing with a walrus skull, enriches your understanding of different cultures and introduces you to a variety of English vocabulary related to mythology and folklore.

Most Unusual Words:

  • Aurora: The natural light display in the sky, usually seen in the polar regions.
  • Dawn: The first light of the day when the sun rises.
  • Particle: A very tiny piece or amount of something.
  • Atmosphere: The layer of gases that surrounds a planet.
  • Solar: Related to the sun.
  • Magnetic: Having the power to attract, like a magnet.
  • Collide: To hit something forcefully or to crash into it.
  • Folklore: The traditional stories and beliefs of a group of people.
  • Mythology: A collection of myths or stories that a group of people believe in to explain the nature of the world.
  • Cycle: A series of events that happen over and over again in the same order.

Most Frequently Used Words:


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Transcript: Is The Sun Throwing A Party In Our Sky

The Magic of the Northern Lights, Aurora Borealis

Hi there. Have you ever seen the Northern Lights? Or are the Northern Lights something that you hope to see in your lifetime? There's been much excitement in the UK over the last couple of weeks. Unusually people have been able to see the Northern Lights in all sorts of locations in the UK. The other name for this phenomenon, the Northern Lights? 'Aurora Borealis'. If you live in the northern hemisphere, you'll probably know that name of the spectacular light show, which can sometimes be seen in the night sky at northern latitudes. That means 'in the far north'. If you come from the southern hemisphere, that means 'the southern half of the earth', then you may be more familiar with the Aurora Australis, or the Southern Lights.

Let's talk today about this phenomenon of the Northern Lights, why it's happening, all while doing your English language practice. There's some scientific vocabulary in this podcast, some vocabulary about folklore and tales around the Northern Lights, all designed to hold your interest while you do your English listening practice. Adept English - we aim to be more interesting than your average English language podcast!

Hello, I’m Hilary, and you’re listening to Adept English. We will help you to speak English fluently. All you have to do is listen. So start listening now and find out how it works.

Aurora - the Goddess of the Dawn

So the name first of all, 'Aurora Borealis'. If you've listened to previous Adept English podcasts, then you'll know that I love languages. I love understanding words in language. And my first degree was in Latin, so I like to understand names. Aurora Borealis - Aurora, A U R O R A. In Greek mythology, Aurora was the Goddess of Dawn. 'Dawn', D A W N. It means 'the first light of the day, when the sun comes up in the morning'. That's ‘dawn’. So we might talk about 'the first light of dawn', or we might talk about 'the dawn chorus'. That means 'the birds singing first thing in the morning'.


An AI image of the mythic figures of the auroras. Enjoy learning English with stories from around the world.

©️ Adept English 2024

Boreas - the North Wind and Austrus - the South Wind

And Borealis, B O R E A L I S. Well again, in Greek mythology, Boreas was the name for the North Wind. So I guess literally Aurora Borealis is 'dawn of the north', or 'of the north wind'. And Australis, the name given to the Southern Lights, as in the country name 'Australia'. 'Australis' means 'of the south', or southern. And the related name of the Southern Wind, 'Australis', comes not from the Greek, but from the Roman. In Roman mythology, the god of the Southern Wind was Austrus. Good to have a bit of etymology, where names come from, including the name of Australia. I also like how Greek and Roman mythology creep sometimes into scientific names.

The Science of Aurora Borealis?

So let's go scientific now. What's going on scientifically with the Aurora Borealis? So how frequently the Northern Lights appear depends on the level of activity of the sun. What's happening to create this amazing light show? 80 miles above the earth, particles from the sun are being captured, taken into the earth's atmosphere. Lots of vocabulary here. A ‘particle’, P A R T I C L E, that means 'a tiny, tiny amount of something. A speck'. Here, material from the sun. And these solar particles are ejected, thrown out. They're thrown out so far by the sun that they actually arrive in our atmosphere. That's ‘atmosphere’. A T M O S P H E R E. And the earth's 'atmosphere' is the oxygen and nitrogen and other gases which surround our planet. That's our ‘atmosphere’. So these tiny solar particles travel great distances. ‘Solar’, S O L A R, just means ‘of the sun’. Once these solar particles reach the earth's atmosphere, they get caught up in the magnetic field. That's M A G N E T I C, magnetic. And they bump into or collide, C O L L I D E, with other gases in our atmosphere. So they heat up. And it's these heated particles that glow. They dance and make patterns in our night sky. Often green, but it can be other colours as well.

And this is what makes such a beautiful spectacle that people gather to watch. I'm about to give you some stories and folklore around the Northern Lights.

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Northern Lights Folklore

Around the Northern Hemisphere, there is a lot of folklore around the Northern Lights. Folklore, F O L K L O R E, this means 'the stories of old that people made up to explain natural phenomena' like the Northern Lights. Things for which there was no scientific understanding at the time. ‘Folklore’ is similar to mythology. M Y T H O L O G Y. And ‘mythology’ is like what I've already mentioned, the myths of the Greeks and the Romans, including Boreas being the North Wind. That's mythology. If there's a difference, ‘folklore’ is more at a local level, perhaps. Some examples of myths and folklore around the Northern Lights? When you witness them, apparently it's such an experience that it's understandable that people made up stories to explain them.

In Inuit culture, the Northern Lights were believed to be the spirits of the dead, playing a football game, the story goes - with a walrus skull! A 'walrus', W A L R U S, is an animal, a big animal with tusks, a little bit like a seal, I suppose. And a skull, S K U L L, that's 'the round ball of bone that makes up your head'. So the story goes, it's spirits playing football, perhaps, with a walrus skull. But the Inuit people of Nunivak Island turned this around and suggested that the Northern Lights were the spirits of walruses, kicking around a human skull as a game! In Greenland, it was believed that the Northern Lights were the spirits of children who died early. And the indigenous people of Alaska, that's A L A S K A, they thought that the Northern Lights were the spirits of dead animals, animals that they had hunted. And there are many more stories to explain the Northern Lights.

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Are solar flares causing more frequent sightings of the Northern Lights?

So people are joyful at being able to see the Northern Lights in some locations in the UK at the moment, enthusiastic even. And the Northern Lights have been seen as far south as Cornwall. This is really unusual. The Northern Lights are best viewed with no cloud cover, no light pollution, and with little or no moon, and facing north. But why are the Northern Lights happening more than usual at the moment, and being seen in places where they're not usually seen?

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Well, part of the reason is that the sun has an 11-year cycle, a solar cycle. And the cycle, C Y C L E, in this context means ‘a process that repeats’. It's on a loop, if you like. And the level of the sun's activity varies during this 11-year cycle. So there are years when the sun is very active, and we see a lot of what we call 'solar flares'. That's F L A R E S. That means lots of particles are emitted. And there are periods in this solar cycle when the level of activity is much lower. So we are coming into a period of time in the solar cycle where the sun is more active. And the Northern Lights have recently been seen in the UK much more, because apparently there was a huge solar flare which left the sun and travelled to Earth, taking around two days before it collided with the Earth's atmosphere. So it's far less unusual to see the Northern Lights in Scotland than to see them in Cornwall.

Where are the Northern Lights usually visible?

Where would you go if you want to see the Northern Lights for yourself? Well people from the UK tend to travel to Iceland for this. If you go in the winter time, you've a greater chance of seeing the Northern Lights, but then you also have the very short days and very cold temperatures. If you go to Iceland in the summertime, you'll experience the very long days, the Arctic summer nights, but of course you're less likely to see the Northern Lights at that time of year. Either way, Iceland is an experience though. Other places where the Northern Lights are frequently seen? Norway, Finnish Lapland and Canada.

Can a book about the Arctic darkness scare you?

And just before I finish, if you fancy a really good story about the Arctic Circle, Michelle Paver's book 'Dark Matter'. That is a really spooky read. ‘Spooky’, S P O O K Y, means 'it'll have you scared while you're reading it'. And that book tends to make you feel pleased if you live in a place where there's lots of light and sunshine!


So listen to this podcast a number of times. It's got some really good, useful vocabulary used in context to help you remember it. Listen to it a number of times until you understand all the words.

Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.

Thank you so much for listening. Please help me tell others about this podcast by reviewing or rating it. And, please share it on social media. You can find more listening lessons and a free English course at



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