1570 engraving of aurora borealis

1570 engraving of aurora borealis

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Credit: CRAWFORD LIBRARY/ROYAL OBSERVATORY, EDINBURGH/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Aurora borealis, 1570. Anonymous engraving of the aurora borealis, or northern lights, over the town of Kuttenberg in Bohemia in 1570. Aurorae occur when sudden bursts of charged particles from the Sun collide with gas molecules in Earth's upper atmosphere. The phenomenon is usually seen near the poles but was common all over Europe during the late 16th century due to heightened solar activity. Most were regarded by a superstitious populace as portents of imminent disaster or as warnings from God.

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Keywords: art, atmospheric phenomenon, aurora, aurora borealis, aurorae, earth science, earth's atmosphere, effects, electromagnetic effect, history, kuttenberg, northern lights, sciences

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