The aurora borealis are seen in the arctic regions and the aurora australis are seen in the antarctic regions. Aurora is the goddess of the dawn and borealis is the god of wind; australis is the greek word for south.
The colors refer to the gas that is present in the atmosphere; oxygen emissions - Green or brownish-red, depending on the amount of energy absorbed; nitrogen emissions - Blue or red. Blue if the atom regains an electron after it has been ionized. Red if returning to ground state from an excited state.
Auroras are occasionally seen in temperate latitudes, when a magnetic storm temporarily enlarges the auroral oval. Large magnetic storms are most common during the peak of the eleven-year sunspot cycle or during the three years after that peak. However, within the auroral zone the likelihood of an aurora occurring depends mostly on the slant of interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) lines, being greater with southward slants.
Northern Lights are connected with wintertime, although in reality they are present the year round; it's just that we can't see them when the nights are light as the background sky has to be fairly dark. In practice, in northern Norway we are restricted to the period starting at the beginning of September and extending until the middle of April. On the other hand, if the Northern Lights are strong enough, they may still be seen against a twilight sky, and it is not unusual to see them from Tromsø on an August evening. The Northern Lights are often referred to as night aurora because they occur on the night side of the Earth and they commonly appear in the early evening and continue late into the night.
This phenomenon is seen on other planets as the poles on Jupiter.