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View of a colourful aurora borealis display

View of a colourful aurora borealis display


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Science Photo Library

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View of a colourful aurora borealis display

View of a colourful aurora borealis display (northern lights). Aurorae are caused by the interaction between energetic charged particles coming from the Sun and molecules of gases in the upper atmosphere (about 100km). A stream of charged particles, known as the solar wind, flows continuously from the Suns corona towards interplanetary space at speeds of 400-500 km/s. These particles do not reach the Earths atmosphere due to the shielding effect of the Earths magnetic field. However, violent solar activities such as solar flares emit highly energetic particles which penetrate this shield and ionise molecules in the atmosphere

Science Photo Library features Science and Medical images including photos and illustrations

Media ID 6374043

© PEKKA PARVIAINEN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Atmospheric Phenomenon Aurora Borealis Display Aurorae Earth Science Effects Electromagnetic Effect Northern Lights Aurora Display Sciences


EDITORS COMMENTS
This print captures a mesmerizing display of the aurora borealis, also known as the northern lights. The vibrant colors dance across the night sky, creating an awe-inspiring spectacle that leaves viewers in utter amazement. Aurorae are a result of the interaction between charged particles from the Sun and molecules in our upper atmosphere. As energetic particles from the solar wind flow towards interplanetary space, they collide with gases about 100km above Earth's surface. Normally, Earth's magnetic field shields us from these particles, but during intense solar activity like solar flares, highly energetic particles manage to penetrate this protective shield and ionize atmospheric molecules. The electromagnetic effect caused by this phenomenon gives birth to these ethereal lights that grace our skies. Shades of green, blue, purple, and even red paint a breathtaking canvas against the darkness of night. As we gaze upon this stunning image captured by Science Photo Library, we are reminded of nature's incredible power and beauty. It serves as a reminder that there is so much more beyond what meets the eye on our planet. Let this photograph transport you to a world where science intertwines with artistry—a world where atmospheric phenomena create magical displays for those fortunate enough to witness them firsthand.

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