Aurorae Australis seen from space, STS-47

Aurorae Australis seen from space, STS-47

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Credit: NASA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: A dazzling display of the Southern Lights seen from space. The Southern Lights (properly the Aurora Australis) are the southern hemisphere equivalent of the Aurora Borealis. Auroral displays are seen when energetic charged particles from the solar wind get trapped in the Earth's magnetic field. The field channels the particles toward the magnetic poles. When the particles encounter the atmosphere, they may ionise and excite atoms and molecules causing them to emit light. The green light seen here is due to low- altitude atomic oxygen. This photograph was taken by the crew of Shuttle Endeavour during Mission STS-47 of 12-20 September 1992.

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Keywords: atmospheric phenomenon, aurora austral, aurora australis, aurorae, earth science, earth's atmosphere, effects, electromagnetic effect, mission sts-47, sciences, sts-47

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