Diagram of Earth's magnetosphere

Diagram of Earth's magnetosphere

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Credit: MIKE GILBERT/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Diagram of Earth's magnetosphere & the origin of auroras. The aurora borealis & aurora australis (Northern & Southern Lights) are luminous displays in the night sky at high latitudes. The particles that form the solar wind stream towards Earth, but are mostly deflected by the "bow shock" (red arc) of the magnetosphere. Some particles penetrate the bow shock & are concentrated around the north & south poles by the magnetic field lines, causing ordinary auroras. Other particles reach the poles from the magnetotail (right) when the Sun produces solar flares & emissions from coronal holes; these particles cause the brilliant auroral "storms" that can be seen at lower latitudes.

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Keywords: atmospheric phenomenon, aurora, aurora borealis, aurorae, diagram, earth science, earth's atmosphere, effects, electromagnetic effect, magnetosphere, northern lights, sciences

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