Do you see it?
…and how could you not see it? Good ole faithful aurora, showing her colours whenever the skies open up and reveal the stars.
What’s interesting is that both laser and solar wind particles incite the same sort of reaction in the atmosphere’s atoms and molecules: excitation. Energy is at first transferred to the air particle and then sent out as a quantum of light.
We do not really see the laser, but, in this case, water vapour glowing in the air where the laser hits it. Aurora is air particles glowing where the solar wind hits them.
Awesome stuff when you think about it for a second.