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View of a spectacular aurora borealis display

View of a spectacular aurora borealis display


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View of a spectacular aurora borealis display

A spectacular aurora borealis display (northern lights) with red and blue 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 6373077

© PEKKA PARVIAINEN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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


EDITORS COMMENTS
This print captures a breathtaking view of a spectacular aurora borealis display, also known as the northern lights. The mesmerizing dance of red and blue lights paints the night sky with an otherworldly beauty. Aurorae are natural phenomena caused by the interaction between energetic charged particles from the Sun and molecules in our upper atmosphere. The solar wind, a continuous stream of charged particles flowing from the Sun's corona towards interplanetary space at astonishing speeds, is responsible for these awe-inspiring light shows. Normally, Earth's magnetic field shields us from these particles reaching our atmosphere. However, during intense solar activities like solar flares, highly energetic particles manage to penetrate this protective shield and ionize molecules in our atmosphere. This photograph not only showcases nature's incredible power but also highlights its delicate balance. It reminds us of how interconnected our planet is with celestial events happening millions of miles away. As we gaze upon this image, we are reminded of the wonders that science unravels about our world every day. Science Photo Library has expertly captured this momentous occasion through their lens, allowing us to appreciate both the artistic beauty and scientific significance behind it. This print serves as a reminder that there is still so much more to discover about Earth's atmospheric phenomenon and its profound effects on our environment.

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