Northern lights over Murmansk

Northern lights over Murmansk

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Credit: SPUTNIK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Northern lights. View of the Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, photographed above the Russian city of Murmansk. The Northern Lights are created as electrically charged particles from the Solar wind are pulled in toward the magnetic poles by the Earth's magnetic field. As these particles collide with the atoms of gas in the ionosphere about 80km above the ground, they give the atoms energy and they become 'excited'. The atoms spontaneously release this energy in discrete amounts, resulting in particular colours of light being emitted. Green light is given off by excited atoms of oxygen. Photographed on 16 April 2007.

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Keywords: air, atmosphere, atom, atomic, atoms, aurora, borealis, city, cityscape, curtain, emission, energy, ethereal, glow, green, ionosphere, landscape, level, light, lights, murmansk, night, northern, novosti, optical, oxygen, phenomenon, quantum physics, russia, spooky

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