Aurora borealis or northern lights and Orion

Aurora borealis or northern lights and Orion

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Credit: PEKKA PARVIAINEN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Aurora Borealis. Green Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights display between trees in a forest. The constellation of Orion is prominent at lower centre. Aurorae are caused by the interaction between energetic charged particles from the Sun and gas molecules in the upper atmosphere about 100 kilometres up. A stream of charged particles, called the solar wind, flows out into space continuously from the Sun at speeds of 400-500 kilometres per second. On reaching Earth, the charged particles are drawn by Earth's magnetic field to the poles, where they collide with gas molecules in the upper atmosphere, causing them to emit light.

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Keywords: atmospheric phenomenon, aurora, aurora borealis display, aurora in orion, aurorae, constellation, earth science, earth's atmosphere, effects, electromagnetic effect, forest, in orion, northern lights, northern lights aurora display, orion, sciences, sky, solar wind

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