GETTING CURIOUS | What’s Up With The Northern Lights? 


Have you ever been lucky enough to see the aurora borealis in person? Jonathan’s been dying to see them for years, and after a recent trip to Alaska, they finally did! Afterwards, Jonathan sat down with Professor and Geophysicist Don Hampton to learn more about what’s happening with these lights on a molecular level: Why do they only occur in certain parts of the world? What can they tell us about the atmosphere? And what mysteries still remain about this amazing natural phenomenon?

Don Hampton is an Associate Professor at the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Don specializes in researching the interface between Earth’s upper atmosphere and space, characterizing the energy input of the aurora, and studying the effects of auroral energy on the atmosphere.

You can follow Poker Flat Research Range on X @PokerFlatRR. You can find more information about Aurorasaurus here.

Follow us on Instagram @CuriousWithJVN to join the conversation. Jonathan is on Instagram @JVN.

Transcripts for each episode are available at

Find books from Getting Curious guests at

Our senior producers are Chris McClure and Julia Melfi. Our associate producer is Allison Weiss. Our engineer is Nathanael McClure. Production support from Julie Carrillo, Anne Currie, and Chad Hall.

Our theme music is “Freak” by QUIÑ; for more, head to

Curious about bringing your brand to life on the show? Email

Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness